A City of Scarlet Flowers

Author: annmarwalk

Nominator: Branwyn

2005 Award Category: Books/Time: Post-Ring War: Gondor - Third Place

Story Type: Drabble  ✧  Length: Ficlet

Rating: G  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: A simple gesture helps Faramir and his city to heal.

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 9

Oh, this is an absolutely gorgeous idea! I know that every time I hae lost a family member (as an adult, since I've been old enough to do so) I have planted a flower of a color and type that symbolised what I remembered about them. It's a beautiful tradition in my opinion, and one that I can see having even more of an importance in Middle-earth. Even more especially in Minas Tirith than in most places: I see Minas Tirith as a place where craftsmen and soldiers and healers would live, perhaps people who had grown up in the more rural parts of the rest of Gondor. Those people would have a great love of growing things, and I think they'd find a way to express that somehow or other. What better time than in memory of the dead? The whole custom reminds me of when the families of soldiers would hang yellow ribbons for their loved ones in the military. (Not necessarily for the dead, but I think the idea is the same.) There are other things I liked about this. The nice salute to Aeneid's work for example in the name of the tavern, and the different types of flowers you mentioned at the beginning. But my favourite thing is definitely the overall concept of remembering death with life.

Reviewed by: Branwyn  ✧  Score: 6

This writer's dialogue sounds natural and in character, and the spoken lines are deftly woven into the narrative. The wordpainting is beautiful, with the contrast between the white stone City and the flowers in their various shades of red---ruby, crimson, scarlet. Reading this woke my eyes up! I was not the only reader who thought immediately of the poem that begins "In Flanders fields, the poppies grow, between the crosses, row on row..." I loved how the set designers in the "Return of the King" placed pots of herbs and flowers in the white stone City--how natural for people anywhere to add greenery to their surroundings. The writer took that small detail one step further in this lovely drabble.

Reviewed by: Marigold  ✧  Score: 4

This was lovely, and just the right length I think for the subject matter, allowing the story to stay sweet and not become maudlin. I liked the voice of the shopkeeper telling Faramir about the new tradition, the character sounded very real to me. I also liked that Faramir was actually in a shop, that he would go amongst the people who love him in such an everyday way. The flower choices were just right.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 3

Most cultures find a way for everyone, rich and poor, to honor the fallen, and I love the way Minas Tirith goes about this. Legolas said they needed more flowers, and I like the thought that the soldiers who died managed to not only preserve their country but also inspire the people to bring plants back into the city.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 2

A way of remembering the dead without being melancholy or needing recourse to the sorts of monuments only the rich can afford—a healing gesture indeed, and a lovely ficlet.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 2

A new tradition grows up in the White City, in tribute to those who were fallen, and Faramir is happy to take note of it. Very true to the spontaneous way things can happen, and a nice OC.

Reviewed by: Ainaechoiriel  ✧  Score: 1

I like the picture this little story painted of the renewal and remembrance after war. Nicely done.

Reviewed by: nerwen_calaelen  ✧  Score: 1

A nice idea and am interesting picture of Minas Tirith.