A Long Road, There and Back

Author: Dana

Nominator: Dreamflower

2007 Award Category: Races: Hobbits: Gapfiller - Third Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Medium Length

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: There are some depictions of violence in this story.

Summary: Celandine Brandybuck learns that some roads are longer than others (and there are always unexpected turns).

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Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 10

Danachan has created a rich tapestry for her Shire, and most particularly for her Shire during the time of the Occupation. She also has a knack for creating lovable and believable Minor Characters and OCs. I love this story about Celandine Brandybuck and Moro Burrows, and not only because the author wrote it in request to a prompt from me--for I expected only a small vignette at most--and was treated to a story of three exciting chapters! Celandine is only a tween, the spoiled only daughter of Seredic and Hilde Brandybuck according to the Family Tree, headstrong, impulsive and naïve. When she hears of trouble near the home of a friend of hers, she impulsively rushes out to see if she can find out what happened. Moro Burrows, whom she thinks of as a rather boring lad, decides to help look for her, and both of them find far more trouble than they had looked for when they are found by some of Lotho’s Ruffians. Moro risks his life to help her escape--and the rest of the story focuses on how she had to hide out until the Troubles were over. Dana treats her characters like real people. They have such well-rounded personalities--you will find no cardboard heroes or two-dimensional villains in her universe. And it is good to learn what happened to some of those who were left behind.

Reviewed by: Elanor  ✧  Score: 6

This is a story of the Occupation, full of action and uncertainty and hidden danger, but it is the inner voice of Celandine Brandybuck, skillfully threaded through the suspenseful narrative, that makes it a compelling read. Celandine--young, naive, and headstrong--is about to be surprised by destiny, and it is going to bring her everything she never knew she wanted! Grave, insightful and sweetly romantic, this is a story rich in characterizations, all of which (the villains and those offstage included) are deftly drawn with quick and clever strokes by a writer who intuitively understands what it takes to transform a simple story into a special one. Dana's stories are always thoughtful, plumbing emotional depths with respectful intensity, and her characters are unerringly multi-dimensional. Celandine Brandybuck, as rendered here, is memorable as well!

Reviewed by: Cathleen  ✧  Score: 2

A very lovely, emotional exploration of a difficult period of time. Dana has a special perception of each character and it shines through in every sentence!