I Shall Not Call the Sunbeam Bright

Author: j_dav (JDE)

Nominator: Olorime

2010 Award Category: Races: Villains - Third Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: Mature  ✧  Reason for Rating: The story is rated adult for sexual content. There is one m/m scene and one m/f scene. Reader's discretion advised.

Summary: Sauron tells the chilling story of the capture of Maedhros and the fallouts that ensue. In the background is the doomed story of Sauron's love for Glorfindel. At the centre of the plot is a woman prisoner who is caught between Sauron's intrigues and the plight of the captive prince.

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Olorime  ✧  Score: 10

The J_Dav's Sunset account of what happened to Maedhros in Angband. This story is filled to the brim with tragic love, selflessness and obsession. Melkor, Mairon, Elerrína (an original character) and Maedhros star in this fiction. Maedhros goes to Angbad to parley with Melkor, willingly falling into a trap, but there is more than plain naivete in Maedhros part. He goes there with a purpose, but his plans are endangered by the presence of Ellerrína, the mother of Oropher, who was captured by The Hunter on her way to the blessed lands. Mairon plays the part of the torturer in this fiction, a torturer that is haunted by memories. We learn that Mairon embraced darkness in order to spare his beloved Laurenfide from the clutches of a dark, self-serving Vala (Irmo). Elerrína with her flowing golden hair and green eyes reminds Mairon of that which is forever lost to him. Regardless, Mairon employs Elerrína as a tool to enter the unbreakable mind of the prince. This is a wonderful stand alone read, the drama, the characterizations and the dialogue are beautiful. The whole of the Sunset Arch is wonderfully crafted, but I believe this piece is pivotal to understand many of the plot threads. The hidden references to philosophy and Greek classics, the uncanny ability to engage the reader's feelings and intellect make this a must read and a worthy contestant for an award. I particularly enjoyed the characterization of Melkor, too often he is portrayed as only evil. It is rewarding when an author takes time to flesh out his personality and bring him down from the myth and turn him into a more believable character.

Reviewed by: Encairion  ✧  Score: 10

The plot twists J_dav is famous for in her ‘The Song of Sunset’ series are laced throughout ‘I shall not call the Sunbeam bright.’ There are few authors who keep me on my toes as effectively as J_dav does. One might think Glorfindel/Sauron is one of the most unlikely parings ever imagined, but it works gloriously here. One cannot help feeling deep pity and even compassion for Sauron. He’s still cruel and does terrible things, but we have the why behind it all, and that changes everything. I cried my eyes out, and this was not the first time I read this glorious work. It’s like beating ones hands bloody against a cage, the cage of foreknowledge. We all know what will happen to Sauron and Maedhros, but still I cannot help falling in love with their characters and demanding they have some happiness. They are simply to wonderful and magnificent to fall. This story embodies everything I love about reading. It takes me to the brink of a gapping gorge of emotions and tosses me over. It moves deep parts of my soul. It is what every piece of writing only wishes they could be, and yet so many fall short of. This story, the entire ‘The Song of Sunset’ series is a masterpiece. One of the greatest works of literature, published or fan fiction, that I have ever had the privilege of reading. Thank-you J_dav for the priceless gift of your work, it is treasured.

Reviewed by: The Lauderdale  ✧  Score: 10

This story begins with Melkor looking for the stars and expressing regret that they cannot be seen. His attachment to the stars is a source of consternation for Mairon (Sauron), and it was for me as well. Why the devil would Morgoth, steeped in darkness, hating the creations of his fellow Valar, be looking at the stars? I kept reading and, before I reached story's close, I knew the why of Morgoth and stars, and a few things that I hadn’t known about Sauron and Maedhros, and Finrod, and Glorfindel, (and others I won't mention lest they be spoilers) as well. This is a beautifully written, arresting story that throws much of what we think about certain canon characters and their motives out the window. It's also a brutal story, for though our POV character Sauron is a sympathetic figure, he remains every bit as cruel as ever Tolkien described him. More so because we see his sadism in action, presented in an understated, detached way that makes it all the more devastating. OCCASIONALLY I thought it erred on the side of terminally laidback/casual enough that some character interactions didn’t feel entirely credible, but for the most part it was absolutely effective and chilling. I’ve read a number of very fine stories through this year’s MEFAs. Some of them were by authors I already liked, some made me curious about other stories that a given author might have written. This story made me want to read the complete oeuvre of j_dav. I tend to get my fanfiction via archives – ff.net, HASA, etc. – and haven’t found blogs a very intuitive or comfortable way to read continuing narratives or series, which is probably why I haven’t read anything by j_dav before. But there is a handy index at [http://j-dav.livejournal.com/103933.html] and I will absolutely be rectifying that.

Reviewed by: Isabeau of Greenlea  ✧  Score: 4

A very intriguing, almost human-seeming Sauron and a look at the events surrounding Maedhros' captivity on Thangorodrim. The writing is concise and clear. While it doesn't try to copy Tolkien stylistically at all, oddly enough the piece has a very Tolkien feel to it. I was reminded when reading it of the Professor's desire to have other hands fill in some of the blanks in his stories. I think this story might have been what he had in mind. It's rather disturbing and I'm not sure how I really feel about it, but I will be reading it again.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 3

To see Sauron and Melkor portrayed as cogently as they are here seems at first odd, then reasonable. I almost felt empathy for Sauron, but in the end felt disgust at the tactics used. This tale is not for those who are squeamish. Well but disturbingly told,