War Dust

Author: mir_noldoris

Nominator: Elleth

2011 Award Category: Crossover: General - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: Disturbing Imagery/Themes

Summary: A "Maglor in History" story. Amidst the blood and dust of Troy, Maglor remembers a brother.

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Reviewed by: Elleth  ✧  Score: 10

If there is one word I'd have to use to describe Applegnat's [War Dust], an interweaving of Maglor's memories of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad while in the Greek host besieging Troy, it would have to be 'epic' - which the story is not only for the environment it is set in (notably that of an epic itself), but for the parallels Nol draws effortlessly (or at least it looks effortless; we all know writing something to look that way is far harder) between Achilles, Patroclos, Maedhros and Fingon, the same hopeless bravery and emotional response. The author outlines the tribulations of an immortal among a human host with an acute clarity that goes far beyond just 'stating things'. I wish I could say more, and be more eloquent (my little review hardly does the story justice), but every time I try and go back to pick up on notable threads that deserve mention, I end up tangled and re-read the whole story yet again. Come to think of it, sweeping, cinematic and still intimate would be more useful adjectives to characterize the story, and if it is out to illustrate a point, then the one by Xanthe Wakefield that Nol cites in the author's note: [The Greeks are not humanist, Christian or sentimental. Please understand that. They are musical.] which I think is just as true (has to be) of the Greeks as it is of the Noldor and their allies in the First Age. That said, all I can offer now is the following advice: Go. Read. Now.

Reviewed by: Altariel  ✧  Score: 5

It's impossible to do this short story justice - it's not within my abilities. Nol brings two epics - Iliad and Silmarillion, ancient and modern - into a war-torn, sun-drenched, dust-ridden, bright and brilliant collision. ["The men on this beach stream out behind our captains, in the joy of the knowledge that they are the most excellent killers of men the world has seen"] - which the Achaians might be, but only of men. Arda has already seen more excellent killers. We may be at the very start of the history of Men, but Maglor is already ancient, and has seen this all before - the terrible beauty, the compulsive terror. The language sings, as it must, with this narrator. Watching Achilles, he thinks: ["Do not weep, maitimo. Everyone dies. Everyone except Maglor. And he will sing of you, never worry."] Please read this!

Reviewed by: pandemonium_213  ✧  Score: 5

Just the mere mention of a crossover between [The Silmarillion] (in particular a Maglor in History theme) and [The Iliad] was enough to attract me, and from the very first Homeric epithet, I was inexorably drawn into this gorgeous story. The language soars, and the characters, Homer's and Tolkien's both, spring to vivid life in this tale of war and tragedy. A parallel story runs side-by-side with Maglor's narration to emphasize this. In the interest of constructive criticism, the transitions between the story lines could use clarification, but that does not detract from the overarching tragic beauty of the tale.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 4

A fascinating look at the echoes of history and legend, as Maglor, now a healer among the Greek armies come to besiege Troy (in The Iliad), views pivotal events in the life of Achilles. The parallels made between Achilles and Feanor are quite believable, as is Maglor's mixture of regret, love and detachment. Definitely worth reading for fans of epics by Homer and Tolkien...

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 4

This is an interesting and well-researched story that is a crossover of sorts between "The Silmarillion" and "The Iliad." Certainly both books are tales of heroism, despicable behavior, war, formidable and terrifying individuals, and massive pride. It is told from the POV of Maglor, who is represented in Homer's role, or at least as his assistant. Impressive.