A Suitable Tribute
2007 Award Category: Genres: Drama - Honorable Mention
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: General ✧ Reason for Rating: n/a
Summary: A young woman of Gondor ponders what would be a fitting tithe to give their new King.
Reviewed by: annmarwalk ✧ Score: 10
This lovely ficlet is the middle scene of the tale which began with Ribby's Gifts of the People. Here we find the young woman, Marrin, examining her possessions and resources with a highly critical eye in search of the perfect in-kind gift to offer as her tithe to the king. She considers her artistic and culinary skills to be modest at best, and her lilacs and roses, alas, have not yet recovered from the trepidations of war (a very nice touch.) She feels that she has only two items of value from which to choose. Too charmingly modest to offer a dance (though she does take a moment to daydream about that possibility), she instead decides to offer her hair. Marrin's choice to sacrifice her richest possession is heartaching in its simplicity and nobility. Her gift is not given painlessly, for what would be the value in that? I particularly love her betrothed's participation, as the one who actually cuts off her braid, acting as the priest to her sacrifice. His obvious love and pride help to soothe her pain, and shock, when the deed is done. What is particularly noteworthy about is tale (other than its supreme loveliness) is how seamlessly EdorasLass is able to pick up another other's character, add a perfect layer to the characterization, and then pass her on. I know there was no design to this arc, just the marvelous synergy of two great authors working together to produce this exquisite gift to us all.
Reviewed by: Dwimordene ✧ Score: 4
A very interesting tribute - I'm still wondering what that will be used for. I suppose there must be many things - one could use it to weave something with or maybe for stitches (maybe? I don't know enough about medicine, but long and thin = potentially useful for healers in desperate need of restocking). I like that her betrothed, though horrified at first, accepts fairly quickly.
Reviewed by: Makamu ✧ Score: 3
Glimpses into the minds of ordinary Gondorians are rare in fandom but this is definitely one of the outstanding examples that were produced this year. The reader feels the struggle for the appropriate gift and rejoices when a suitable one is finally found. The pognant price of the tears reminds us that all gifts come at a price, even those willingly given.
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 3
Very poignant vignette about a young woman who finds something to give in tribute to the new King, despite her own poverty. One has the feeling that the gift will definitely make a strong impression on Elessar...
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 3
Ah--how this young woman has found to pay the tithe to their new king! A sacrifice of her crowning glory, but one in keeping with the need to express thanks to this new lord as he's released the requirement farm folk should give of their produce for their tithes. One of the most marvelous stories I've read yet by Edoraslass.
Reviewed by: Linda hoyland ✧ Score: 3
[spoiler alert] I liked this very much, both in what it tells us about Aragorn and the young woman. As King, Aragorn is entiteled to tribute and needs it to run Gondor,but he will not let his people suffer or go hungry to provide it. A young woman has no idea what she could give but has an idea by the end of this charming drabble.
Reviewed by: Bodkin ✧ Score: 3
A tribute that is undoubtedly a great sacrifice for the girl ... but I'm left wondering what on Middle-earth Aragorn would find himself doing with her braid. After he had accepted it with due appreciation, as I'm sure he would.
Reviewed by: Dreamflower ✧ Score: 3
Such a simple and heartfelt tribute to the King who had saved them from darkness. I love the way her beloved was so supportive of her decision, and I am very sure that the King was impressed with her sacrifice.
Reviewed by: Marta ✧ Score: 2
Ooh, interesting cross of the story of the little drummer boy with "The Gift of the Magi". This is a neat portrait of both Gondor's post-war need and the generosity of her people.
Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke ✧ Score: 1
So beautiful and strange! this is truly a unique idea, EL, sweetly told.