In Search of Stillness
2008 Award Category: Races: Elves: Mirkwood Elves - Third Place
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: General ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: As the song of the sea becomes more demanding, Legolas and Gimli journey to the Greenwood in search of peace.
Reviewed by: Imhiriel ✧ Score: 7
Very visual and sensuous writing. The descriptions of the rain-dripping leaves and the squelching mud makes me almost smell the fresh, clean air and the green of the forest. There is also a delicate balance between showing the characters' emotions and motives without making it too obvious; instead teasing it out in hints and subtext. The obvious friendship, companionship and the level of comfort Legolas and Gimli have towards one another is conveyed wonderfully. There is a give-and-take here in that both know why they have come to the forest, but both pretend it's no small matter, and at the same time Gimli makes it clear that he is concerned while Legolas indicates he appreciates the consideration. What I found very effective was how in the course of the story it becomes tangible that Legolas is able to gradually relax at least a little. I also liked the details of camping and making-do in the wild. And Thranduil's cameo was a lovely touch to end the story on. One of my favourite lines: ["the unwrapping of the forest in spring, the warm hum of summer, the generosity of autumn, followed by the sleep of winter."] Succinct yet lush.
Reviewed by: elliska ✧ Score: 7
I love this story more every time I read it. You really do write Gimli well--and few people do, so it is such a pleasure to read. Moreover, you write Gimli and Legolas's relationship incredibly well. Their banter is perfect and it captures their friendship and complete understanding of one another so well. There are a few references in this story that I particularly like. The best one is to Legolas's love of the flow of the seasons. Like Legolas, having moved south myself, I've been particularly reminded of the importance of this cycle and how comforting it is. So this was particularly powerful from my point of view and worked really well. Finally, it goes without saying that I loved Thranduil's surprise appearance at the end. I totally didn't see that coming and it was great--especially the fact that he acknowledged he knew what Gimli was doing and appreciated it. Love that. This is an awesome story, Bodkin. Thanks again!
Reviewed by: Marta ✧ Score: 6
I've become a growing afficionado of the post-War-Gimli-and-Thranduil subgenre, of which there seem to be several examples in this year's MEFAs. (What can I say, I'm a dwarf-lover at heart, but the Sindar have grown on me as well.) Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised by how close this story came to fitting there. I might not describe it that way since it's not the main point of the story, but I was absolutely tickled to see a Gimli and Thranduil who have reached some manner of (albeit uneasy) acceptance of each other, years after their first meeting. I also loved the easy kidding between Legolas and Gimli. Gimli may say that Legolas won't find it so easy to rile him, but I think Gimli is also trying to get a rise out of the elf as well. It speaks to a long friendship and was a delight to read.
Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger ✧ Score: 6
I'm a sucker for just about anything that involves Legolas and Gimli, and when they're this skillfully written, it's love at first sight. Bodkin crafts a wonderful story here that had me both laughing and sorrowing in turns. The underlying purpose of the journey becomes clear not long into the story, but it remains just that: underlying. Not until the very end does the search for peace come to the forefront of the story. But prior to that, you can feel hints of it here and there, much as the Sea itself infuses its way into Legolas's life. A lovely parallel that is skillfully hidden by some very clever dialog. I especially liked Gimli's opinion that underestimating Thranduil's feelings toward him would probably be safest for all involved. That was brilliant. Fantastic story, all around!
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 5
Ah, yes, one of Bodkin's best--but then, all her works are remarkable. What to do with a stubborn Elf who refuses to answer the call that haunts him? Take him home, and after a few days of antagonism shared with his father, a few weeks of peace, then returning arguments, look for him to need to wander once more, back to his new lands and his close friends from within the Fellowship--until the next time the Sea Longing is in danger of taking him. One can hear the two of them bicker as they wander into the renewed woods around Dol Guldur; smell the rising scents of early spring; feel the cool rain, taste the stew, see the rising steam and mist about them, know the joy of the coming of Thranduil to find them. A story for the senses!
Reviewed by: Dreamflower ✧ Score: 4
This account of the friendship of Legolas and Gimli is so solid and comforting. While it is Legolas who needs the stillness, it is Gimli who has seen that they went in search of it. And Legolas' determination to hang on to Middle-earth for as long as he can rings so true, as we see only too clearly the main reason for that determination. A beautiful bit of insight into the characters of our favortie Elf and Dwarf, and their relationship.
Reviewed by: nau_tika ✧ Score: 3
The author is very skillfully in presenting the Legolas and Gimli friendship. I had not considered the sea longing in comparison to the seasons. I especially liked the description of Thranduil. All this story needs is a sequel!
Reviewed by: Ainaechoiriel ✧ Score: 3
Beautiful. Just beautiful. The banter was perfect (apart from the single-quotes) and the friendship felt just right between these two. I loved the concern Gimli had for Legolas and his tricking Legolas to take a trip home out of that concern. It was beautiful.
Reviewed by: nancylea ✧ Score: 2
now if you can only multiply the good feelings this leaves we could all bask in friendship forever