A New Reckoning

Author: Dreamflower

Nominator: PipMer

2007 Award Category: Races: Cross-Cultural - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Novel

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: Brief descriptions of violence.

Summary: One year after the destruction of the Ring, delegations arrive with news from Gondor and Rohan, and edicts from the High King, to be ratified by the leaders of the Shire. This is the story of the Shire’s reactions, and of friendships renewed and formed. But not everyone is pleased about it…

Read the Story

Reviewed by: NeumeIndil  ✧  Score: 10

Wow. What an epic undertaking this was, but what a wonderful outcome it gave! I thoroughly enjoyed the pure Hobbityness of this story, and all in one sitting. I simply couldn't make myself wait to finish it. (I also find myself inexplicably craving a mushroom and cheese omelet...) I did find the odd typo or awkward spot here and there, but with seventy chapters those are expected, and were very *very* few. Your beta should be proud as well. I truly love your Legolas; a perfect mix of the inquisitive and mischievous with the wise and regal. He is, to me, the Legolas of the books. And speaking of the differences in movie and book canon, Pippin's chagrin about the song in the Green Dragon was a perfect touch! I wept my way through the wedding from the moment Gaffer Gamgee saw his son until Pippin went off to MC, so to speak. The only real disappointment I felt as I read was when I realized I could find no meaning or Old English equivalent for the name Pybba. It has always been one of my favorite of Tolkien's little jokes that the underestimated mount of an underestimated hero was named "Stumpy". Finally, but most remarkably to me, is the entirety of Chapter 29. I once discussed with a fellow college literature major friend the possibility of telling a story in print through lines of interrupted dialogue. I have not yet found the courage to attempt it. It was excellent. Seamless transitions from speaker to speaker, location to location, with very good flow. It was truly a joy to read, and I smiled through the whole chapter. So, so well done. I will be recommending this to my friends outside of the awards as well. One of the best hobbit pieces I've read to date.

Reviewed by: Bodkin  ✧  Score: 9

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Not to mention that it introduces some of the most unpleasant hobbits to darken the borders of the Shire! Hyacinth - who later (potentially) gave a troll a terminal stomach condition - Took, mother of three badly-raised jewels of daughters and the amiable(?) pair of brothers, Cado and Clovis Banks, who would, in the absence of a certain Meriadoc Brandybuck, have been enough to put Pippin off cousins for life. I enjoyed seeing the hobbits' gradual realisation of just how much the four adventurous travellers were respected and honoured in the outside world. Especially Paladin's. He needed more than most to understand the difference between his light-hearted and slightly wild pre-quest son and the adult-in-tween's-clothing who returned, haunted by his experiences. I was sorry to see the story end - it's all very well when they go home or off to visit, but it's like Frodo knowing he will never see Legolas again - sad. Bergil will be grown up, Merry married - everything changes. All the 'you can't pass over the same river twice' stuff. Still - they're still on the road to Edoras - and learning a thing or two along the way!

Reviewed by: Imhiriel  ✧  Score: 7

A sweeping, well-paced plot (although some passages seem a little choppy). The constantly shifting PoVs work well here to paint an intricate picture of a great many plot threads. The great cast is handled expertly, all characters are distinct and appropriate for their respective cultures. The appropriate moods and emotions are conveyed very well, from suspense to action, from drama to humour (I very much enjoyed Sam's plight concerning saying "proper"). I also liked how you wrote the more unpleasant Hobbits. The story contains some of my favourite subjects in Hobbit stories: other Hobbits learning of events in the outer world & the four Travellers' contributions, and the Shire coming into more contact with this wider world. There are also some other thought-provoing topics: long-time results of the Travellers' injuries and of the Troubles, what to do with Saruman's "leavings" in Orthanc etc.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 6

I read this last summer, sitting for several days before the computer to read it through. The Time of Troubles is over and the Travelers returned, and now word is sent from Gondor letting the people of the Shire know that they are now part of the greater reunited kingdom. A deputation of Gondorian and Rohirric folk have come to explain what was done and the Shire's place in the new order; but not all within the Shire are happy, particularly the Banks lads and their father and friend, who during the Time of Troubles were too complicit with Lotho's schemes and fear what might come out if the Thain, Master, and Mayor look too deeply. But the attack on one of the Rohirrim wasn't perhaps the best way to distract folk from what they'd been doing. A marvelous, fascinating tale, and well, well worth the read.

Reviewed by: Dadgad  ✧  Score: 6

A 'masterpiece' of hobbit-based fiction, following the impact of the war's end on the attitudes and customs of the Shire. Very redolent of some 1920's novels showing how the First World War shook up the class system in Britain. Isn't the Frodo/Sam relationship not unlike the way Lord Peter Wimsey is a greater friend with Bunter (in the Dorothy Sayers detective books) than any of the 'Lords and Ladies' from his own class? Dreamflower sustains high quality writing over 72 chapters, and keeps you wanting to know 'what happens next' even though there are no fights, battles, or usual fantasy cliche's. (As a male, I normally dismiss character-driven fiction as 'a bit girly' and skip to the next battle...not here). Very recommended!

Reviewed by: Garnet Took  ✧  Score: 5

If I remember correctly, this was the first story of Dreamflower's I ever read, and it still remains one of my favorite stories. Period. This is a tail with so much happening that you find yourself totally wraped up in what is happening, and not just to the familiar characters. The original characters she creates a quite compelling. From respectful Rohirrim and gallant Gondorians to a few horrid Hobbits, the reader can't help but love, or hate, them as much as Tolkien's own creations. A fantastic story of new bonds formed in the Reunited Kingdom.

Reviewed by: PipMer  ✧  Score: 4

This is a very in-depth look at some of the characters we have all come to know and love, plus a few OC's the we come to admire. The characters of Bergil and Freddy are more fleshed out as well. I especially enjoyed the portrayal of Freddy's grief for Folco, and the evolution of his healing process. And Bergil was a joy to watch, trying to adapt to the ways of hobbits, especially their eating habits! Well done, Dreamflower!

Reviewed by: grey_wonderer  ✧  Score: 3

A long, lovely, story that I remember looking forward to each new chapter of when it was first posted on Stories of Arda. This has some excellent original characters in it and it lets the Hobbits of the Shire interact with men and elves and dwarves while at home in the Shire. Very entertaining all the way through!