2011 Award Category: Hobbits: General - Honorable Mention
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Novel
Rating: General ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: After the passing of Lalia the Great, Thain Ferumbras, now The Took, finds himself in the middle of another scandal involving the Whitwell Tooks. With the Great Smials embroiled in rumors and intrigue, Ferumbras seeks the one who can put an end to the scandal once and for all - a relation of whom no one has heard or seen in 38 years.
Reviewed by: Dreamflower ✧ Score: 10
I truly enjoy when fanfic writers turn their attentions to the "upper branches" of the Hobbit Family Trees in Appendix C. There are so many familiar names there, and yet so few details, that much can be left to be filled in by the imagination. There are names, often dates of birth and dates of death, sometimes we know who marries whom. Sometimes there are not even names-- we know that Paladin and Esmeralda Took had three older sisters, but they remain unnamed on that branch of the Family Tree. In "Kindred", Gamgeefest has created an awesome chronicle around one of those unnamed Took sisters, and we are treated to a story of unrequited love, love not unrequited but unexpected, thwarted love, Shire politics, and family secrets long-kept. The story centers around the youngest of those three older sisters, whom Gamgeefest has named Amaryllis, sometimes called Ami, but even more often called by her friends and loved ones, Darling. Darling is a free-spirit, with a full share of that particular strain of Tookishness that leads to impulsive adventures; she's kind-hearted and generous, but also thoughtless and careless and not particularly concerned with what is "proper" in Shire society. She's also very lovely. Her butterfly personality has caught the attention of several potential suitors-- among them the Thain's Heir Ferumbras, whose mother is the formidable Lalia Clayhanger Took. When a mysterious unknown hobbit is thrown into the mix, complications are bound to ensue. I really enjoy the way the story was constructed, using "flashforwards" at the beginning of each chapter, as an older Ferumbras looks back on the events of years gone by. GamgeeFest also has an excellent handle on how important social status was among hobbits, and does a good job of showing the backstairs characters as well as the more prominent family members. A really enjoyable and good read! I recommend it to anyone who enjoys intriguing hobbit tales.
Author response: Thank you, Dreamflower! It is fun to go back to the "older" generations and imagine what our famous four hobbits' forebears were like in their own youths. We're left with so much to fill in and theorize about. I also enjoy the opportunity to figure out the workings of the Shire: those who work because they must and those who "tinker at hobbies" because they enjoy it, how does one surpass their humble upbringing and what does that mean to everyone else around them, and just what would star-crossed lovers look like in the Shire? As you know, this one gave me fits for years and there were times I wondered if I'd ever get it all worked out. I'm so pleased that you enjoyed this so much. It makes all that effort and hair-pulling worth it. ;)
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 7
Amethyst Took, younger sister to Paladin Took, has a hard decision to make when Ferumbras asks her to marry him. Now, itââ¬â¢s not as if she didnââ¬â¢t like himââ¬âshe really does. But not in the way needed to make a successful marriage work! Lalia is just as happy, as she considers Darling, as most people call Ami, to be far too flighty and distractible to make a good wife to her beloved son. Nor does Amiââ¬â¢s tendency to treat servants and apparent vagabonds as equals endear her to her prospective mother-in-law. But just what DOES Amethyst herself want from lifeââ¬âand love? And what will everyone do when they realize just who does hold the key to her heart? Told in retrospect against the backdrop of a journey by Ferumbras to the area outside Pincup where he knows someone he hasnââ¬â¢t seen in many years now lives, this is a tale Iââ¬â¢m continuing to read as I can with great interest, and I heartily recommend it!
Author response: Thank you, Larner! I love your summary of Lalia's thoughts on our Darling. Most apt. Ami proved her wrong though - and everyone else as well! I'm glad you enjoyed the story! :)