"Through Shadows to the Edge of Night" (Vol. 2 of 8, of "The Adventures of Frodo Gardner")

Author: Dreamdeer

Nominator: Dreamdeer

2009 Award Category: Races: Cross-Cultural: Gondorians

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Novel

Rating: Mature  ✧  Reason for Rating: (For the entire series.) SEX: Implicit except for explicit pollinization. Sexual crimes are never eroticised. LANGUAGE: euphemized in translation. VIOLENCE: Infrequent, but no holds barred. OCCULT: Sauron and other ghosts and demons. SHOCKS: Sooner or later this series will push any button you have. Not for PTSD sufferers in the avoidance-phase of recovery.

Summary: Frodo continues his journey to Mordor without his father's friends. Yet on the way he makes new friends of his own--and new enemies. And he discovers more about his most unwelcome hitchhiker. Includes hobbit ballads, and story-within-story of Baggins's arrival in Valinor. AU, to be explained later.

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Reviewed by: Celeritas  ✧  Score: 10

In this installment of [The Adventures of Frodo Gardner] the character progression of the protagonist becomes quite evident but occurs in such a smooth arc that you hardly realize it's been going on. Even though Frodo is still naive he is beginning to gain considerable wisdom, through personal loss, Almost Certain Temptation, and increasingly creative ways of using the gifts around him. The development and strengthening of both the Lens and Frodo's "guest" helps set up the background for the rather dramatic conflict that will become the basis for future portions of the story, allowing this conflict to make much more sense than it would to a reader who simply jumped into it out of order. Most beautiful is the way that Mordor is already beginning to work its way into Frodo's heart, because of its attempts to produce life in spite of its apparent ugliness. The side tales and foreshadowing are woven in easily, though this reader was disappointed to see such an unconventional author have such a conventional take on the state of Frodo B. post-Quest. Even readers who don't think they have the time to read this story should at least examine the end of Chapter 35 for the sheer craftsmanship that goes into Dreamdeer's use of visual cues and a knife to express a character's carefully concealed thoughts on a difficult matter.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 6

Entering Mordor would be a difficult thing, particularly for one such as Frodo Gardner, raised as he was on his father's memories of his journey into the land as well as what was written in the Red Book. But if he is to help restore the lands surrounding the Sea of Nurnen to arable farmland, Frodo has to make it through the Poros Pass and up the Backwash River. But doing so with Sauron's influence hanging about him is proving difficult, and endangers not only himself but those about him as well. However, Sauron isn't the only spirit watching over the journey Frodo has been making in the company of a herd of goats and Bergil son of Beregond, and Frodo finds help where he least expects it. Dreamdeer's epic continues. A unique look at the possible future to be seen in the midst of the Fourth Age.