Author: Celandine Brandybuck
2005 Award Category: Races/Places: Elves: Lothlorien - Honorable Mention
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: R ✧ Reason for Rating: erotic content
Summary: Haldir's dreams lead him to decide to join the rangers that protect Lothlorien. Adult themes of sexuality, but no language or violence. Tries to develop ideas of culture and society among Elves.
Reviewed by: Marta ✧ Score: 7
Oh, how sad for Haldir! I cannot pretend to know Haldir's torment; as every fresh-out-of-college single, I face my family's questions of "when are you going to settle down", but for me the discomfort is only discomfort at not being ready to do just that. It is not the torment I imagine Haldir would have felt. Good job on capturing the gravity of his situation, not excusing it but creating a realistic treatment of the problem. In a few places the language did feel a tad modern -- but that was more than outweighed by the parts I loved, such as the philosophical discussion. I caught glimpses of our own world's philosophers, such as Kant's assertion that homosexuality is not moral because it reduces one's partner to an end in him- or herself. Very thought-provoking! All in all, this was a nice read.
Reviewed by: annmarwalk ✧ Score: 6
A very thoughtful tale, well told with gentleness and candor. I enjoyed the imaginative depiction of Elven society in terms of the coming-of-age ceremony, and the selection of a craft or trade to explore, and the description of the different sorts of careers that were considered useful. I also found Haldir's confusion about his sexual feelings to be very realistic, like those of a human teen. Even in our own age, many of those who have the same sorts of thoughts and desires are, unfortunately, made to feel shameful about them, just as Haldir does. How sad for him (and for us) that so much energy must be wasted on guilt and shame. I know this is the first part of a series, and now that I've read this I'm very eager to continue!