Author: Dawn Felagund
2008 Award Category: Times: First Age and Prior: House of Finwe
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: Mature ✧ Reason for Rating: sexuality, both homosexual and heterosexual
Summary: During the Years of the Trees, the Noldor stand on the brink of a divide between the houses of Fëanor and Fingolfin. Newly appointed to the court, Maedhros and Finrod are attempting to heal the coming fracture when Caranthir discovers something most unexpected about his brother and cousin. Will he reveal what he knows and bring on the downfall of the Noldor?
Reviewed by: Oshun ✧ Score: 10
This is a great story. It is a thoroughly fascinating study of a family, a genre that I truly adore especially in connection with the Finweans. Love the intrigue, politics, drama, and mystery. You write Carnistir as almost more like a Medici than a Fëanorian to good purpose. Inquiring minds what to know how much does optimistic Arafinwë really know? Of course, I got an enormous kick out of the fact that it raised a number of issues that I have been thinking about in relationship to all of these characters in recent months, although, of course, your imagination takes them in directions where I never would have gone. I love Carnistir lurking in the shadows and watching all the wheels turn. It was particularly interesting to me that Carnistir says, ["I sneak, spy and lie and hate almost everything."] What a guy. He is completely believable as a vulnerable, rather damaged kid, dealing with a big unwieldy family, especially one with such issues. As someone who spent a large part of my childhood hiding under the dining table or in the stairwell off the front parlor, Carnistir's behavior had the ring of absolute truth for me. And the scene with Findaráto and Nelyo--oh, my: what an incredible scene that was. You really intrigued me and made me want to peel the layers off of that relationship and know more. Seems a lot is hinted at that is not covered in this story. Finally, and not least, ["Don't say anything confidential because your brother is spying on you in the parlor."] Cracked me up. This is a classic of a line that should come with a beverage warning. Thankfully I was not drinking at the time that I read it.
Reviewed by: Rhapsody ✧ Score: 10
Oh [Discretion] makes me want to read Dawns AMC again, but for now this short work has to suffice. That Caranthir disliked Finarfins children a lot is well-known, but this short work explores one of the reasons how this might have only fuelled that hatred. Unwillingly Caranthir is the witness of a short rendezvous between Maedhros and Finrod, and I just feel for him as he sits there, really not wanting to be there at that moment. Caranthir has a great self-knowledge and even though Maedhros confides to him in what he does diplomatically, you can also see the anguish of both brothers wanting to be loved by the other and yet they just dont seem to reach out. When the word discretion is uttered both speak about different things, and Maedhros plays it thusly that Caranthir will not speak of it. Yet what remains and what makes Caranthir loathe Finrod so much is the seemingly emptiness behind their actions and motivations, this dark elf is more an elf of action, direct in his approach. But oh for the love of his father and house he keeps his silence with great effort, even towards his uncle who probably now has his own views of what is going on. What a tangled mess and a great character sketch of Caranthir in this gapfiller. Well done Dawn!
Reviewed by: Marta ✧ Score: 5
This story is not only an interesting take on the Finrod/Maedhros pairing (one of my favorites in Silmfic), but also on the strained relations between the sons of Finwe in this period. The shift of the point of view from Finrod or Maedhros to the comparative outside Caranthir was a stroke of brilliance, letting us see the larger implications without descending into angst or excuse. And Caranthir's feelings of displacement were a nice touch, allowing for a certain degree of tension without being too judgmental. I really enjoyed this piece.