Author: SurgicalSteel

Nominator: obsidianj

2011 Award Category: Romance: Gondorians

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: Mature  ✧  Reason for Rating: Mature Language/Themes,Sexual Content

Summary: A sequel of sorts to 'Stretched on Your Grave,' which is an AU for the ending of 'The King's Surgeon:' Serindë (my OFC surgeon) finds a measure of happiness in the last place she'd have expected.

Read the Story  ✧  Backup Story Link

Reviewed by: Elleth  ✧  Score: 7

I was thrilled to see some variety in the endless row of slash fic upon slash fic - which isn't to say that I don't enjoy them, I do - but finding one of the rare beasts that femslash stories are, and by an author whose work I enjoy greatly at that, was a happy moment at the MEFAs for me this year. The story itself doesn't disappoint either - though there are few direct touchpoints on canon beyond locations and events (the women in question both are OFCs, SurgicalSteel's famous surgeon Serinde, and a lady from Umbar) it still feels like the story is set squarely in Middle-earth and makes sense within the established universe. The characters are believable, and come across as individuals with their independent and sometimes concurrent desires to me - perhaps unnecessary to point this out in one of SurgicalSteel's stories, as her writing is high quality and this should be a given, but it is something that I keep looking at and go 'I want to write like that when I'm all grown up', so probably bears mention after all.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 4

It's always interesting to see the various possibilities for a character when an author is not afraid to take them down different roads. SurgicalSteel's OFC Serinde, the King's Surgeon, who lived her life in a canon-friendly timeline. And then lived it again in a happier AU, and now has yet another "future" in which she survives that which kills her in the first one and makes a new life for herself in Umbar. It takes her in a direction she'd never thought of before, and yet-- it seems very natural.

Reviewed by: Independence1776 (Crystal113)  ✧  Score: 4

Femslash in Tolkien’s world is unfortunately rare, and SurgicalSteel’s story is a fine addition to the genre. She does a remarkable job in portraying the attraction and relationship between her characters. The details of Umbar are one of the things I love most about her ‘verse, and they are fully realized here, making the setting remarkably easy to picture in my mind’s eye. A story I’ve loved from the first time I read it, and one I’ll continue to reread.

Reviewed by: obsidianj  ✧  Score: 3

This is a rather unusual story for Serinde, the surgeon from Gondor. I was surprised at the end, but I can understand Serinde very well. She is too lonely by a long shot, even with all her friends. This short story paints a vivid picture of Umbar, and I like it that these two women get along so well. Luckily for everyone, the war is over.