On Frozen shores

Author: ann_arien

Nominator: digdigil

2006 Award Category: Times: First Age and Prior: Incomplete

Story Type: Incomplete  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: G  ✧  Reason for Rating: The story is clean, but there is also mildly implied slash in it.

Summary: This AU story is based on a challenge to take a canon fact and change it. So, what if the Host of the Noldor did not go into exile divided? What if Feanor and his close followers did not leave the others behind?... This short story raises many questions and answers only a few.

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Reviewed by: digdigil  ✧  Score: 10

I think this story excels in three areas: atmosphere, characterizations and drama. The author has created a chilling atmosphere of an unrelentingly cold, cheerless place at the edge of a tempestuous sea, with the atmosphere invading the characters' psyches, and permeating the story with a foreboding atmosphere. There is good use of imagery and illustrative words to effect this atmosphere. The story involves three characters, each individually strongly drawn, with a separate, distinct personality. The complicated relationship between the brothers is well-realized, without at all reiterating Tolkien's own words. Their characters are fleshed out by the author in a unique way, by having them discuss a subject that is original to the author. There is good contrast between the characters of the brothers, one displaying reluctance and hesitation, the other forthright, showing his strength of resolution and his inability to let go of this resolve. The son is well-drawn too, as he is shown struggling with his fears and emotions and appears much younger in his mannerisms than his father and uncle. The author has a keen sense of reality when writing dialogue between characters. This dialogue flows naturally and is very strikingly accurate. There is a good sense of drama in this short work. It is driven by the characters' reactions to the events that have occurred before the story begins, and news is brought of what has taken place by the character who returns and discusses it with the protagonist. There is a good element of surprise in this story as well, when one of the events turns out differently than what we had expected. I was very favourably impressed by this story.

Reviewed by: Rhapsody  ✧  Score: 7

This is a very unique story set in the alternate universe which I love since it starts out with such a clear and evocative setting. [A gust of frozen air and the shuffling of fabric woke Nolofinwë from his restless sleep. Sore and numb, he moved beneath the blankets that had barely warmed him, the recollection of the dreadful place they were in hitting him with the strength of a fist] This is just such a lovely bit of narrative which leaves the reader wondering if the first Kinslaying did happen, to me it feels like those negotiations were successful, otherwise the author would have left more clues on that. That is what I love about this piece: the author leaves that up to the reader to decide. If this is the case, Fëanor feels perfectly in character to me: being tired of negotiations, getting the ships, getting the children & his sons on board. I mean what a busy night! [Fëanáro added immediately, anticipating Nolofinwë's outburst before it came. "But I would not waste any more time discussing matters with your idle Council members. Nor would I wait and hear the futile debate on who could go and who could stay."] Yeps, that is Fëanor: very pragmatical and wanting to move on. Ann Arien captures Fingolfin's feeling of being left out of it incredibly well, but the scene at the end, the two brothers who stand united and strengthen each other is brilliantly delivered. A great short story which most certainly leaves the reader wanting more!

Reviewed by: Dawn Felagund  ✧  Score: 6

Alina, this is a lovely AU. What I like best about it is that the emotion is handled very believably--I almost want to say sparingly. It is not choked with sap and angst as one might expect from this sort of AU (and given that I know the relationship that you develop between Feanaro and Nolofinwe in some of your other work. >:^D ) It is believable, an enticing first chapter that hints at much more to come. I do hope that when RL settles down a bit for you, then you will continue it. My favorite bit of this piece is when Nolofinwe notices the spots of light on the horizon and suspects that he is betrayed; what a lovely image. Also notable is his reaction to Turukano's panic; this is so in-character for Nolofinwe, imho, and very much like one would expect a father to behave.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 2

Nice start. I like that Feanor stayed behind; that could prove an interesting twist, and certainly suggests a different character than the one I've always imagined.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 2

A very interesting premise indeed. A more reasonable Feanor--who would have thought of it? There is only a little of this story to go on--I would like to have seen more of it.