Telling Tales

Author: Avon

Nominator: annmarwalk

2009 Award Category: Genres: Ficlets: Gondor or Rohan Fixed-Length Ficlets - Third Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Ficlet

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Boromir becomes legend in a tale of Rohan.(tribble - triple drabble: 300 words.)

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Reviewed by: annmarwalk  ✧  Score: 7

It's hard to write a coherent review of this ficlet. I've been trying for months, but each time I reread it I'm reduced again to insane babbling, swooning again over the beauty of the language and imagery. Avon's lyrical prose is poetry, almost song, from Aefre's lips, as is the way of Rohan (and what a lovely way that's been snuck that in, at the very end; that this is bedtime tale from a Rohirric nursemaid to the young princes and princesses of Gondor, Rohan, and Ithilen). Poetry and song in the Rohirric style is the perfect way for Boromir's tale to be told to children, and the lesson - that the hero encountered doubt and darkness along his journey, but ultimate redemption and honor - is one to be taken to heart by all ages. So much of this ficlet is utter perfection! To wit: [ A mortal born he was given an Elven-made bier of silvery wood; he sailed farewelled by Elven song. The river of his life – our river of stars – cradled him in death and took him home. Your father, my prince,” – she nodded at the raven haired boy – “saw him pass. Glory trailed him and peace bathed him as he farewelled his beloved land. Starlight lit his way to the Great Ocean… and Gondor was left to mourn bold, fair Boromir.] Oh, that's pure music, worthy of Elven halls, or the songs the stars sing on a summer night. This is just a gorgeous, gorgeous piece of writing, honoring the spirit of the Professor's work in prose, poetry, and language. *Blissful sigh*

Reviewed by: Imhiriel  ✧  Score: 6

Lovely, lyrical ficlet. The prose is flowing and rich, and I love how the very choice of words - the way the sound when spoken in the context with others - and their placing gives a special rhythm to the story, which is particularly fitting considering the content: a tale for Rohirrim. The linking of Rohirrim and Elvish "motifs" in the way the story is told and which imagery is evoked is very effective yet subtle way; as is the way there is a blending going on from history to legend, and how actual events can be formed to not only tell stories, but also impart wisdom and advice in pleasing, entertaining form. The framing device of the story of telling it to the little children of Rohan and Ithilien's ruling families was a sweet plus, and its setting was quickly evoked in just a few well-selected words.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 6

I love how the words of this ficlet have the rolling feel of poetry to them. The imagery they contain is breathtaking, and it seems I'm reliving the fall of Boromir all over again. Coming from the heart of this story teller, it feels as though the tale gains a new perspective and new insights. And that's something I very much enjoy about societies with oral traditions, like the Rohirrim. Because their tales are passed through spoken word and song, to each new generation is passed new perspective as the story gains the flavor of the one who is passing it on. So as the tales continues and as time goes by, the story picks up more and more of the culture that passes it on until it's really a tale of both Gondor and Rohan. As a final note, it was also fascinating to watch this particular snippet from the War of the Ring find rebirth as a legend in Rohan. I can imagine many such tales doing the same.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 5

And how would the tale of the death of Boromir the Bold of Gondor come to be told in Rohan? Here we find out in beautiful images so fitting for this land of oral tradition and bardistry! Avon has created the situation perfectly--deftly identifying the teller of the tale and her audience with a delightful economy of words, leaving us with fire-lit echoes as if sparks of fire illustrated the story for us. A fantastically crafted little tale in which we see these sparkling glints of the royal household of Rohan. Truly a gem at the heart of the fire of such a storytelling tradition! Bravo!

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 4

A very sweet peek at how history becomes legend. Aefre is still relatively close to the source, and one recognizes how she changes and embellishes the story of Boromir's death - not too much, but bit by bit, her story will change and eventually the events will be a fully integrated story, substantially made up of symbol as Rohan's oral tradition goes to work weaving Boromir's story into its own. Well done, Avon!

Reviewed by: curiouswombat  ✧  Score: 4

This is really quite, quite, beautiful. I am so glad to have noticed it before reviewing finishes. I am entranced by the beautiful use of language, such a fitting way for Boromir to be remembered in legend - and the story teller within the story is stitching this legend together as surely as she is stitching the tunic in her hands. I was also fascinated by trying to work out just whose all the children are!

Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke  ✧  Score: 3

Excellent. I could almost feel the words rolling about on my tongue as I read them silently, begging to be spoken. This is just the way Boromir should be remembered: nobly, sentimentally, poetically. I love the way you wove him into Rohirrim tradition equally for the children equally Rohirrim and Gondorian.

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 2

This is a lovely and tender piece, which I enjoyed reading. It's so interesting, isn't it, how stories evolve. I like to imagine who the other three children are.

Reviewed by: Elena Tiriel  ✧  Score: 1

Enjoyed this!