The Prince and the Nightingale

Author: Melusine

Nominator: Spiced Wine

2011 Award Category: Incomplete: General - Second Place

Story Type: Incomplete  ✧  Length: Medium Length

Rating: Mature  ✧  Reason for Rating: Sexual Content

Summary: He was a prince of Mirkwood; she was the daughter of his father’s captain. He’s known her all her life, but can he stop seeing her as a child and recognize what was always meant to be? Legolas/OFC Pre War of the Ring(About 60% of the story is written. 3 out of a planned 9 to 10 chapters are posted.)

Read the Story  ✧  Backup Story Link

Reviewed by: ziggy  ✧  Score: 10

This is a charming story with everything needed to delight the reader. The writer has woven a tale that is understated and beautifully crafted with credible original characters and dovetailed them into canon seamlessly, faultlessly, writing’ between the cracks’ so we get a glimpse of Mirkwood before Legolas goes off to join the Quest. There are beautiful moments throughout as the two characters gradually recognise and acknowledge their blossoming love, moments of lust and yearning and embarrassment, a wonderfully jealous Legolas at one point. This is a beautiful tale, romantic, light, enchanting with delicacy and softness that absolutely reflects the content. Dulinneth is delightful, her charm and sweetness is not cloying or saccharin but genuine and convincing. She is no pushover and even though she begins with a child's love for her father's friend, it develops into a crush which she then fights, and eventually, helplessly, she recognises she is in love. Even as a healer, her work is very practical and she is by no means the best, and certainly the reader never feels patronized or disappointed that the investment I certainly felt in Dulinneth is ever less than fully repaid. You can fully identify with her and she has no special powers or anything remotely Mary-Sue-ish and hte writer has so skillfully drawn the reader in you are more interested in her by the end than the canon characters. And that is quite something. I like too that she doesn't have everyone swooning after her- there is one other suitor but he is very briefly dismissed by jealous Legolas (see above) which has to be one of the best bits as he finally starts to realize what everyone else around him has known for sometime. And that too is very beautifully conceived- the intense and seemingly private world of the lovers infatuation with each other is so obvious to everyone else and they believe they are hiding it so well. Ah- we all know that! The description of the forest is wonderful, visual and convincing- I can imagine it vividly but never feel overloaded. In one early scene, there is a beautifully imagined childlike sense of the fear of living in Mirkwood - the children of the wood afraid of Orcs- they are such a real threat, and of course they would imagine and whisper it. There is a real sense of the Forest- sometimes as a separate entity but it never becomes fantastical, it is always just a forest but the reader is hyper-aware of it in the way the writers' Woodelves are. So we see it as they do. The language is in keeping with the characters and genre and that lifts this gorgeous tale out of the normal fanfic into one of the very best of its genre.

Author response: Thank you, dear Ziggy! It was important to me that Dulinneth be likeable and believable, mainly because I couldn't pair Legolas with someone who wasn't. Legolas being all jealous was quite fun to write, of course, and I must thank you again for the nudge to do more there. The forest bit just seemed to belong. Of course you know I had my doubts too, and one that began even before the first draft, when I gave up my original premise of Dulinneth as an older and wiser heroine. And it turned out this was really their story after all. Still, I learned a lot as I went through this, both on and off the page, lessons I won't forget. Thank you for reading, for your suggestions, for your support. I'm not sure I can ever fully repay you.

Reviewed by: Spiced Wine  ✧  Score: 8

Melusine is a lovely author who deserves much more support than she gets. Her Legolas/OC fic is sweet, well-written and stands out among the many, many Legolas/OC stories out there, because she can actually write, and her characters do look and sound like Elves rather than Men with long hair and pointed ears. Melusine also writes slash, which I read in preference, but this was a multi-chapter fic which I wanted to nominate because in the course of four years reading one cannot help come across Legolas/OC stories, and very few of them are well written. Melusine's maturity, sophistication and experience as a writer shows very clearly in The Prince and the Nightingale, and if I knew some-one who wanted to write such a story, I would point them toward this one, to show them that this subject can be tackled well, charmingly and also how the characters do act 'in character' to their race. I hope that Melusine will continue to write and realize that she does have a true skill, and many people enjoy reading her stories a great deal.

Author response: Thank you, dear Spiced! That means a lot to me to know. It was important that the characters be who they were, as far as their race and ages, so of course I'm thrilled that they were seen that way. I've been writing off and on for years (with a long break in between) but this was the most challenging thing I'd ever attempted. To have it be nominated was a surprise and thrill. Thank you for that, and for your comments, and for your support.

Reviewed by: Keiliss  ✧  Score: 5

I left my reviews rather late and had to do some fast reading (because I fail utterly), but in this case that was no hardship because the writing is quite lovely and very readable, the characters are extremely well defined and believable, and the story certainly held my interest. Legolas/OFC have featured in more stories than any of us have ever tried to count, which is never a reason for not trying a new one by a good writer. Melusine is an extremely good writer, and I'd certainly recommend this to anyone with a fondness for the prince of Mirkwood or just looking for a really fine, rather sweet story with an ending that will leave you smiling.

Author response: Thank you, dear, for the lovely comments! My big hope was that the characters were believable. And of course that this would be an enjoyable read. :)

Reviewed by: Red Lasbelin  ✧  Score: 5

Not a big fan of this particular genre, but I know Melusine's work and it was enough to make me give it a try. It's a good story, well written with a warm interpretation of Legolas - even though Legolas can be a bit of a blockhead sometimes! Someone should tell the leads in all romantic stories that communication is key. *G* Thankfully he makes up for it in the end, and their journey to their happy ever after is an enjoyable one. I thought Mel handled the growing pains of a young girl well, and her transformation from caterpillar to butterfly. And this reminds me I need to nominate one of her other stories for next year's awards!

Author response: Thank you, dear! I really appreciate your giving this story a try. :)

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 1

This tale has a lovely descriptive style. It is enjoyable to read.

Author response: Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed. :)