While We Dwelt in Fear
Author: Pearl Took
2004 Award Category: Genres: Drama: Incomplete - First Place
Story Type: Incomplete ✧ Length: unknown
Rating: G ✧ Reason for Rating: some violence
Summary: The story of the families of Merry, Pippin, Frodo and Sam as they face the troubles of the Occupation of the Shire.
Review scores are not available for 2004.
Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger ✧ Score: N/A
Superb and very encompassing story. I love how various story lines are pulled out and put together. The fic seems to be told primarily in "moments" and I think that was an excellent choice, because this fic covers a lot of ground. I very much enjoyed how Bree was pulled into it, especially with the suddenly very active Rangers, and I also enjoyed how we occasionally switched over to our wanderers in the wilderness. Great characterization all around and great "voice" for all the characters.
Reviewed by: Marigold Cotton ✧ Score: N/A
What can I say about this story! I love so many things about it ...the very believable explanation of the Took's faery blood and the way Esmeralda has always felt a link to Pippin (who also has this gift, and the idea that the reason Pippin knew Strider was following across Rohan was his Took sight is a nice touch), sometimes able to see out of his eyes, and sense his feelings is my favourite aspect of it. This idea might sound fantastical, but it is not ...it is so well written that I firmly believe it in the context of this story, and like to think that it might be an unspoken reality that Tolkien just failed to mention. I love all of the instances in this story about this bond. Esmie's dreams are wonderful too, foretellings and dreams of current happenings, and I liked her meeting her faery forebear. This description of Merry and Pippin's relationship and their relationships with their mothers, by the faery that was ancestor to both hobbit lads, is just perfect: "Hearts bound together. Spirits entwined. Cousins brother-like. Nephews son-like. Love binding all together like the strands of a rope, each strengthens the others." Just wonderful, and just as I see them myself! I especially liked the scene where Esmie lives through the battle in Moria through Pippin, and the one at Parth Galen, where Pippin acknowledges that she is with him. I don't know if Pearl intended it, but I see this ability of Esmie's as a way for her to have her own adventure outside the Shire, as a hobbit lass never would be able to do in reality. Though Esmie is present in Pippin's mind at some key times, Pearl does not do what many writers would in this situation, and turn Esmie into a Mary Sue that dictates Pippin's actions for him. Esmie's presence is a comfort to Pip at times, but he is left free to act on his own, something that I feel is very important. The way that Lotho takes over the Shire, being sucked in deeper and deeper by Saruman's machinations, thinking that he is being so very clever and just taking his due is also very believable, as are the reactions of the other hobbits, not quite sure what is going on, and so letting it happen. The little hobbit's Yule puppet show, depicting some of the Gathering that was going on was well done, as children notice things when we think they are unaware. Paladin and Saradoc react differently to what is happening, but both are valid reactions and are true to their characters. All of the other characters are true as well: the Gamgees (though Marigold seems a bit missing, and there is no real mention of the other children), Eglantine, the Cotton's, and all of the other hobbits and the Ruffians too. One thing that makes this story so enjoyable are small things that touch the reader; that Bell Gamgee is buried in the Baggins family plot as per instructions left by Bilbo, the way food and firewood is smuggled to those who need it by being sewn into clothing, the way that the ill and elderly are smuggled into Brandy Hall. There are just too many excellent touches and nice moments in this story to mention, but without a doubt the exchange between Merry and Pippin on First Yule is my absolute favourite. I don't think I will ever read another story without imagining that Pippin has a corner of Merry's monogrammed handkerchief sewn inside his shirt next to his heart, and that Merry has an unraveled tassel from Pippin's scarf sewn in the same spot of his own shirt. This is a perfect touch, and really sums up the depth of their relationship to me.I can't wait for more of this story!
Reviewed by: Lindelea ✧ Score: N/A
This is an astonishing story, and explores the idea of "faery blood" of the Tooks in realistic fashion. I love the way you expand on the original, fleshing it out and breathing yet more life into it. It's very interesting to see what was happening in the Shire while the Quest was ongoing, and seeing all through Esmeralda's eyes was fascinating, especially the frustration that her connexion was with Pippin and not with her own son, directly.