Come to Harm

Author: Clairon

Nominator: Branwyn

2005 Award Category: Genres: Adventure: Long Form

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Novella

Rating: PG  ✧  Reason for Rating: violence

Summary: What is the one thing the loyal Steward of Gondor would never dream of doing? Well batten down the hatches, hold on to your hats, pray for him because he’s going to……………………. This story happens some years after the end of the war of the ring. Both Saruman and Wormtongue will appear because it takes more than a cut throat and a few hobbit arrows to keep real evil out of action!

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Reviewed by: Branwyn  ✧  Score: 10

This tale of sorcery and intrigue has much to recommend it. Clairon’s writing style is fresh and vivid, and the action is well-paced. In her alternate universe, both Wormtongue and Saruman survive the War of the Ring, and her characterization of these two often steals the show. I loved hearing Saruman complain about how difficult it is to find good minions these days! The scene with Grima's inept marksmanship also made me laugh. Though Grima does not earn the reader’s sympathy in this story (in fact, readers will be chanting “Kill Wormie! Kill Wormie!” by the end of the first chapter), the writer does give an unusual backstory for his obsession with Eowyn and you are left wondering about the man he might have become if he had not become Wormtongue. The writer draws all of the characters with a deft hand (including very nice cameo appearances by Gimli and Legolas). Her portrayal of the steward’s interaction with his wife and family is touching without being maudlin. I like her view of the friendship between Faramir and Aragorn. She makes it clear that--while there is great love between them--due to Aragorn's greater age and rank, this is not a simple friendship between peers. Angst and suffering abound in this tale but are handled with restraint. I especially liked Faramir’s reflections on his brother and father’s madness. Well-crafted and engaging, this is a great read.