Consequences of a Fall
2006 Award Category: Races: Hobbits: Hurt/Comfort - First Place
Story Type: Other Fiction ✧ Length: Medium Length
Rating: PG ✧ Reason for Rating: It's been G so far, but there is the potential for themes that are a bit on the PG side before the end.
Summary: The year Pippin turned twelve, a rather traumatic event took place at the Great Smials.
Reviewed by: pippinfan88 ✧ Score: 10
A lovely, well-written tale about little Pippin Took and his misfortune of being without his Merry to play with and to keep an eye on him. Oh, and the sub-plot of Merry and his little "misadventure" is fantastic, but in the end, he does do the right thing, and it really is rather comical. Another plot involves Pippin's oldest sister, Pearl, and the circumstances surrounding Cousin Lalia's accidental death. Dreamflower writes this part very lovingly and tenderly. The interactions between family members is magnificent! As usual, I enjoyed those parts the most. The author introduced an Original Character in "A New Reckoning", named Hyacinth, who makes an appearance in the main/sub-plot. She is one character that I love to hate! This self-centered hobbitess is driven by selfishness, status, and riches (not necessarily in that order!) and oozes with the fruits thereof: hatred, bitterness, and just plain evil. The author has done a marvelous job in making Hyacinth a three-dimensional character--she does have one or two extremely brief moments of amiability, but they are still in line with the character's own selfish end-purposes. Her behaviour throughout the tale is appalling, yet at some point in the tale, I almost cried for her pitiable state. I hope Dreamflower expounds in yet another tale about this lovably hateful character.
Reviewed by: Bodkin ✧ Score: 10
Hyacinth ... one of the nastiest baddies in the Shire. Worse, in many ways, than the likes of Ted Sandyman - although probably only because such selfishness and lack of care even for her own children seems worse in a female and a mother than in a drunken miller. Mind you, if Reggie was less peace-loving, she might never have become such a monster - and Lalia hadn't set such a monstrous example, or if Ferumbras had been more forthright... It's rather over-simplistic to blame all her nastiness on her, since had she met people with backbone before coming close to snuffing out the obstacle in her path, she might not have become quite as vile as she did. I feel sorry for her brother - who can escape to work or the fields or whatever he does - and Euphorbia, who is stuck with the poisonous sister-in-law (- until that poor troll comes along). They deserve the silver pennies - but I doubt if there's really a quantity of money that will make her presence bearable (- and it's guilt money from Reggie, really, who is just so glad to get her out of his sight, even if it does mean dumping her on someone else). But the people I feel for most are Hyacinth's poor daughters - who now have to try to learn other ways after having been abandoned to her lack of care and consideration throughout their lives. They will be very lucky if she hasn't ruined them entirely!
Reviewed by: Elanor ✧ Score: 9
This is a triumph of discernment, in many ways, as the author delves into the Tolkien Letters story of Pearl Took and the demise of Lalia in her chair on the garden steps. There is a double focus here: one on Paladin Tooks young family and his rise to the Thainship, and another on a contemplated backstage coup in which a small, injured Pippin is saved by fate from what amounts to a palace assassination attempt! The dreadful Hyacinth beats Lobelia Sackville-Baggins every which way to Tuesday as the resident Shire Villainess; the young Pearl is prettily rendered as the bewildered victim of a slander campaign; Pippin suffers a painful illness with little-boy bravery; and Merry, stubborn, irritated, and suspicious, provides Pearl and Pippin with loving support. Paladin is wonderfully rendered here, and his cousin, Reginard, yoked to Hyacinth, comes off the pages of the Family Trees with enormous grace. Well written, imaginatively conceived; Dreamflower has a real knack for taking somewhat obscure background characters and situations off the grey pages of the Appendices and bringing them to brilliant life. It is particularly well done here! I followed this with great interest.
Reviewed by: Imhiriel ✧ Score: 7
A very good elaboration on the story of Lalia we know from Tolkien's Letters. Well-handled relationships, particularly among the families Took and Brandybuck; characterisations and dialogue are excellent (I especially liked your Frodo and Merry). The descriptions of life in the Great Smials are flowing and evocative, the great cast handled skilfully, the developing of suspense well done. You have a good feeling for little gestures, movements and expressions that make the scenes come alive. The story shows how much problems even generally peaceful Hobbits can cause with gossip, greed, envy and resentment. Hyacinth is a truly terrible woman: at first I just thought her (as do most of the characters) merely jealous and shallow, but this passage: ["Hyacinth's hopes fell. A mere sunburn would not be fatal."] shows her maliciousness even against an innocent child. How her evil plan at Pippin's bedside develop in her thoughts is very revealing: it seems she has no scruples about cold-blooded murder, only about whether she will be found out!
Reviewed by: Rhapsody ✧ Score: 5
I simply love this story. Initially it was posted to a yahoo group where Dreamflower kept us on the edge of our seats with the next instalment which almost gave it a feel of a (well written) soap where the reader was kept wondering what would happen next. This story is filled with family interaction, gossip & rumours and how it can affect others. As the story progresses, details are unfolded in a natural pacing and ends with a satisfying end. The characters, especially the minor ones, are well explored and have come to life to me while Dreamflower has done the obvious and thorough research to write this. Brava Dreamflower, you treated us again to a magnificent story!
Reviewed by: GamgeeFest ✧ Score: 5
This story has everything. Suspense, angst, comfort, and humor are weaved around the legendary death of the even more legendary, if not loved, Lalia the Great. With Pearl under suspicion, the Whitwell Tooks have enough to deal with, but then Pippin becomes ill as well. This opens up an unexpected advantage for the villian, who proves herself to be far more manipulative and vindictive than anyone ever suspected before. We also see Merry and Frodo's protectiveness of each other and Pippin, and Frodo's level-headedness in the face of family tragedy. Though he's only newly head of the Baggins family, he carries the responsibility with seasoned grace, proving why he is destined to be the Ring-bearer.
Reviewed by: Pearl Took ✧ Score: 5
I nearly forgot to review this story, and that would be nearly criminal! A murderous heart in the midst of the Shire. A hobbitess with a hunger for power and nearly the will to do anything to get that power. Fortunately, she's married to a very sensible hobbit and the troubles that would have befallen the Tookland are avoided because he won't give into her powermad scheming. That and she doesn't quite have the guts to do it. She ends up in shame with none of the glory she sought to have. This is wonderfully handled with the perspective shifting from present time to rememberances of past events. An excellent read!
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 4
Lalia the Great wasn't the only unpleasant character dwelling in the Great Smials. After Lalia's death, we see the family of Paladin Took facing scandalmongering, whisper campaigns, and resentment by Hyacinth Took, long-suffering Reggie's foolish and overly ambitious wife. When Hyacinth's resentment of Pippin would appear to lead her to take advantage of his illness to perhaps see him dead and the way opened for her husband to perhaps one day become Thain we find ourselves biting our nails to see just how far she might go.
Reviewed by: Marigold ✧ Score: 3
Hyacinth is shockingly evil. Thank goodness that in hobbit society such individuals as these are extremely rare! Her thought that [mere sunburn would not be fatal] is thoroughly malicious and reveals her complete lack of empathy, seeing Pippin only as an obstacle to her own desires.
Reviewed by: Garnet Took ✧ Score: 3
I love this story! It has it all; sweet, sick Pippin, caring and remorseful Frodo, concerned and protective Merry. It also has the single scariest hobbit character since the Sackville-Bagginses themselve. This story held my attention completely for the entire time it took to post. Wonderful.
Reviewed by: Lindelea ✧ Score: 3
I love the details in this story, that bring hobbit society and custom to life in the imagination. The relationships between the characters are well-fleshed-out and believable. "Hyacinth" makes me shiver. She'd been better off married to Lotho than Reggie, I'd say. (Yikes!)