"From the Ashes a Fire Shall be Woken" (Vol. 8 of 8 of "The Adventures of Frodo Gardner")
2009 Award Category: Times: Post-Ring War and Beyond: The Shire
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: Resolution of series. Much needs set right, and not just for Frodo Gardner and the people of Nurn, though that's a huge task right there. Yet hope can sometimes bloom in the very darkest corners, where you least expect. Or, as the Gaffer used to say, "All's well that ends better." AU. Stories-within story, including more about ents. Hobbit songs.
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 10
Well, I did it--read all 282 chapters! This was not a story I'd thought to revisit. The first section with the manner in which Legolas was behaving appeared out of character in a big way, and the idea that in order to be perceived by most mortals an Elf had to wear clothing intended for mortals still seems strange--definitely a unique manner of looking at the fading of Elves. Many of the ideas held within are unique, to say the least, and some to the point of disturbing. The constant focus on addiction also is disturbing as we see Sauron having put almost as much of himself into poppies as into the Ring, and as we see the chaos of the Poros pass into the Nurn region of Mordor where Sauron has set countless Maiar into contention with themselves, one another, and those who brave this entrance into the land is unique. The idea that Frodo Gardner is granted several audiences with various of the Valar and is gifted with special powers of perception as well as cursed with alcoholism, and that he is matched with a Hobbitess who has complementary gifts of her own and is hooked on opium, and that both must fight their addictions is certainly interesting. The addictions are fairly well portrayed, and the idea that the spirits of Sauron and Saruman are both possessing Hobbits and doing their best to continue manipulating Middle Earth from such a weakened state through promoting addiction and alcoholism is definitely interesting. That these two would end up confronting one another as they do is also a bit of a shock. The series focuses as much on spiritual as practical issues. At 282 chapters in all it is NOT a short series, to say the least. It shows little sign of being derivative. Once I got past the initial section about Legolas going nuts and finally learned WHY he was as he was, even though I cannot necessarily feel fully comfortable with how they deal with the situation I at last became accepting of some of the other rationales and backstories invented by Dreamdeer. Certainly her idea of the origins of Hobbits as well as trolls is--startling and perhaps plausible. One interesting feature is the idea that there is a time slip going on. Tolkien at one time intended to write a story in which there was time travel and experiences with time slips; Dreamdeer has accomplished the tale Tolkien never finished. I like the idea that there are some wargs and orcs who seek redemption and the Light. Am not comfortable with what happens to May, but find the inclusion of those who are disabled is nicely done, particularly as I am myself a special ed teacher and regularly include such folk in my own stories. Anyway, I enjoyed reading the whole series at the same time I find I do not like all elements within it. Difficult to start, but for the most part worth reading all the way through.