2008 Award Category: Times: Late Third Age: General Fixed-Length Ficlets - Third Place
Story Type: Fixed-Length Ficlet ✧ Length: True Drabble
Rating: General ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: The POV of something that normally has no voice: the Bruinen and its ford, on the way to the Sea.(A true drabble)
Reviewed by: Imhiriel ✧ Score: 10
This drabble (which I'm very, very thankful to have received as a birthday gift) revels in poetical, lyrical language, in alliteration, in paralleling images, sometimes constructions that resemble Norse kennings. There is almost a sense as if the narrative consciously carresses every single syllable it passes, mirroring the passage of the Bruinen in its long varied course to the sea as is described. It gives a very nuanced and detailed image of the Bruinen, at the same time it feels impressionistic, made out of fine, short brushstrokes of brief, highlighted glimpses. But it gives even more than a general impression of the river; it also tells a precise moment of canon from an unusual perspective and so enriches it: We see the scene in which the Bruinen rushes to overthrow the Nazgûl who are trying to pass to capture Frodo who fled across the river moments before. I like the shift of focus here: it's not on Frodo, but on Elrond, master of Imladris. It reminds us of the role the element water has so often played in his family, notably for his father Eärendil. If I'm not completely astray, I even sense a possibilty that ["the Master"] might not refer to Elrond, but to Lord Ulmo himself, and his ties to the family; and so offer the intriguing interpretation of this scene describing a moment of "divine" intervention.
Reviewed by: Elena Tiriel ✧ Score: 10
Adaneth's drabble, "Loudwater", is such pleasure to read that I do it again at every opportunity.... She claims that it the first drabble she wrote -- but if that's truly the case, then I will have to start believing in reincarnation. LOL! The most surprising part is the point of view: the river Bruinen, which has much to say in this drabble, as befits its common tongue name, Loudwater. What an inventive idea to make it the PoV character! The vivid opening, [Drifts of rain or drifts of snow], is brilliant; I get hooked by the rhythm and imagery from that very first phrase. The PoV character is just water, not even coalescing into a rivulet yet, or emerging as springs, much less a rushing river... yet it is already a conscious, sentient, and clearly perceptive entity. The language is so picturesque and evocative, I could almost feel the Bruinen's revulsion at being sullied by the touch of the Nazgul horses. I love how Elrond is referred to, as simply the [Master] or the [Mariner's son]... the river is busy taking messages not just to the sea, but to the Lord of Waters, Ulmo himself, and so is cognizant of the more mythic aspects of Elrond's background. And [Haven of the Mariner's son] is a perfect example of the many layers of meaning Adaneth puts into this drabble, vaguely suggestive of Earendil's ports of call as well as directly describing Imladris. This is a fine example of how a drabble should be written, and I hope Adaneth writes more when she can. Well done!
Reviewed by: Dwimordene ✧ Score: 5
Imhiriel's request for unusual perspectives certainly brought some fantastic drabbles to light! Adaneth writes the long winding journey of a river from its own perspective, which is stretched out from the first drift to the last bend around the Fords. I love the mention of Bruinen's Master, and of the river's sensing the concern of Ulmo, which [clots and clogs my current] in a lovely fit of stuttering alliteration that perfectly fits the idea being conveyed. Adaneth in her other fics has always shown herself to be a master at capturing the landscape and infusing it with atmosphere: here, she does it in just a hundred words that put us in the perspective of Bruinen itself. Thanks for a great drabble!
Reviewed by: Tanaqui ✧ Score: 4
Adaneth has given voice to the wordless in this drabble about the Bruinen. The word picture that has been drawn in this prose poem, using alliteration, onomatopoeia and poetic metre evokes the river in all its stages and moods. The author's love of words, and her undoubted skill with them, dazzles the reader as clearly as sunlight flashing off the ripples of the Loudwater she describes. Beautifully done bravissima!
Reviewed by: rosethorn59 ✧ Score: 4
I love your descriptions of the water; drifting, trickling, seeping, welling, babbling, placid and rushing the river down to the sea. The water and river as first person. I really like that. It took me a moment to realize this was the river at the Ford. (The name of the river escapes me for the moment.) The second paragraph was wonderful. The idea of the black horse's hooves cleaving 'him,' and his white maned waves clearing the filth of the Nazgul's touch away. I think this is a very clever and beautiful ficlet, Adaneth. I like it very much!
Reviewed by: Marta ✧ Score: 3
This was a really well-told piece of POV writing. I've seen pieces that have taken on the Fords scene from nearly every perspective that I could think of, but this was a new one, and you really gave that character life - not easy to do in this case, I imagine. Well done.
Reviewed by: annmarwalk ✧ Score: 3
Lovely and lyrical, with perfect application of alliteration ['Babble over boulders", "clots and clogs"] and onomatopoeia ["trickling", "rushing"] The whole first paragraph puts me in mind of a lovely piece of Japanese art, while the second paragraph vividly depicts the danger, conflict, and resolution. A very unusual drabble!
Reviewed by: viv ✧ Score: 3
Nice poetic rhythm here. I would have been tempted to format it as poetry, because it certainly lends itself to that kind of reading. But even as prose it works well enough. I especially liked how the river considers Rivendell [the haven of the Mariners son.] Water making a water connection, and all that. Lovely writing, all in all.
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 3
The challenge was to write a story from the POV of a normally mute subject, and Jael has managed to do so in a masterful manner. Ah, the pride the river knows to have helped turn back great foe! A wonderful short read.
Reviewed by: Súlriel ✧ Score: 2
I enjoyed this very much. You do have a special way with words and your description here is perfectly balance with the emotion.
Reviewed by: Nieriel Raina ✧ Score: 2
The language is almost poetic in form. I'm not a fan of drabbles but this one shines. Well done!
Reviewed by: Robinka ✧ Score: 2
A very beautifully written drabble with an excellent usage of language, accurate descriptions and lovely imagery. A wonderful reference to Elrond. Greatly done.
Reviewed by: nancylea ✧ Score: 2
silly of course it's had a voice; we just generally don't get to hear a solo, only in the background chorus. thank you for the premier.
Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke ✧ Score: 1
An interesting perspective on the event described.