Racing with the Devil

Author: Aratlithiel

Nominator: Inkling

2005 Award Category: Genres: Drama (includes Angst): The Shire

Story Type: Vignette  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: PG  ✧  Reason for Rating: Dark themes

Summary: One last dance.

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Inkling  ✧  Score: 7

This story is so achingly sad and beautiful, yet at the end so full of hope and glorious defiance! Like all of Aratlithiel’s stories, the language is gorgeous and the emotions so real and intense as to be almost overwhelming. The story is wonderfully structured, like the race itself—building slowly and quietly to the exhilarating climax, tracing an arc from despair to triumph. At the story’s end I felt—and enjoyed feeling—that Frodo had found a way not only to outrun the daemon, but somehow to outfox the stars as well. For their cold and merciless truth had angered me nearly as much as the daemon had. But it was comforting to think of Frodo’s spirit somehow merging with the spirit of the Shire… "This part of him will ride laughing beneath the stars for evermore. And this bit of home he will take with him."

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 2

Loved this line: "What Was’ and ‘What Could Be’ are only bastard children of Despair and Hope". It nicely captures that need to sink into the present, a clinging to the moment against what has already been lost, and the loss that lies still ahead.