Wings of Summer

Author: Raksha the Demon

Nominator: Linda Hoyland

2011 Award Category: Post-Ring War and Beyond: General - Second Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Ficlet

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: All work and no play make for a weary Steward and a cranky King...A short story in 800 words, written as a birthday present for someone who appreciates Aragorn, Faramir, and the joys of warm summer days.

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Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland  ✧  Score: 10

Although I don't subscribe to the film theory that Aragorn was a reluctant king, I do believe he would have found it difficult to adjust from the outdoor life of a Ranger to the mainly desk bound life of a king. This amusing and delightful story gives an entertaining glimpse of what he must have felt like being cooped up on a fine summer day, something which I'm sure most readers can identify with. It can be easy to forget that Faramir was a Ranger too and also accustomed to outdoor life.Although I feel he settles to being Steward more easily than Boromir would have done, it cannot have been easy at first. I just loved the conversation between the two former Rangers here, which shows their developing friendship and growing understanding of each other. The little touches that Raksha uses are truly delightful such as Aragorn's sneezing over the dusty documents.I love the way the two men initially skirt around the subject of what they really want by talking of enlarging the windows before finally giving up on the dusty old documents and going outside. The blackbird seeming to invite Aragorn and Faramir to go outside and then flying off was a touch of pure genius. This story is a must read for anyone who who loves Aragorn and Faramir and tales about the friendship that I am certain they enjoyed.

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 8

Dear Raksha, I’ve seen quite a few variations on the Aragorn-and-Faramir-are-fed-up-with-their-new-administrative-duties theme, and this is one of the most charming renditions. For one thing, the great ennui has overcome them only weeks into Aragorn’s reign, which makes them seem a little like impatient boys. This impression is further fed when they appear somewhat overexcited with their new powers. Can we make the windows bigger? Sure, all the way to the floor, no problem at all in this ancient citadel! You expand on this theme when they plan their escape from the sneeze-inducing dust of the library like truanting students. The teacher will never know! Let’s sneak off to the park and meet up with my girl-friend, um, no, make that wife. I could imagine that sharing such an experience will set them of wonderfully for future friendship. Having seen many children (and teachers) staring longingly out of windows on brilliant summer’s days, I know exactly how these two feel.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 5

It is hot, the finest of summer days. Anor shines brightly overhead; the sky is a brilliant blue with only enough puffs of clouds to enhance its beauty. The blackbird sings by the window. So, why do King and Prince Steward linger over literally dusty tomes in search of old laws and older reasons for them? Aragorn makes an executive decision, and both he and Faramir are the happier for it! A quick vignette of these two as they acquaint themselves with one another and their duties as rulers of the reunited Kingdom. A warm tale of the Citadel as it comes to new vigor under the new regime.

Author response: I certainly had fun writing the guys suffering the miseries of dust and paperwork and then deciding that they can occasionally play hooky. Or, you can take the Rangers out of the wild, but you can't take the wild out of the Rangers, at least not entirely... Thanks for reading and reviewing, Bonnie!

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 4

This story is one that anyone who has ever been forced to work on a beautiful day, or otherwise has wished that he or she was somewhere else, can empathize with. The tale is very descriptive, and the author did a nice job of portraying the working relationship between King and Steward, a relationship that is clearly well along to becoming a friendship. A nice job of writing.

Reviewed by: Elfique  ✧  Score: 4

A lovely glimpse into the friendship between Aragorn and Faramir. The boredom and stifling atmosphere at the beginning are very well conveyed - and conveyed to a point where you can say, 'been there, done that'! I also liked how this provided a nice window into post-war Gondor and its related characters getting back to their feet, adjusting to the many changes they're faced with.

Reviewed by: Altariel  ✧  Score: 4

An affectionate portrait of the Steward and the King in the early days of Elessar's reign, as both realize that the restoration of the kingdom has brought some unwelcome changes to their lives, but that at least they have the authority to do something about it. Plenty of gentle humour and byplay between the two ["these scrolls, having awaited your return for hundreds of years, can surely wait another day or two"] add to the overall charm. The whole piece feels like a breath of fresh air.

Author response: Thanks much for reviewing this ficlet, Altariel. I had fun writing Aragorn and Faramir as drowning under layers of parchment and dust, yearning for the freedom and fresh air (minus danger, imminent doom, etc.) of their Ranger days. I'm glad you enjoyed the story!

Reviewed by: Wtiger  ✧  Score: 3

I really enjoyed this story because it shows the mundane side of being a king. After being outside so much of their lives, I can well imagine that both Faramir and Aragorn would have some cabin fever if indoors too long. Tying in the blackbird was a neat angle as well. Well written

Author response: Thanks for reviewing, Wtiger! And I'm glad you liked the blackbird's presence; though it held the story up while I researched blackbird behavior and song. I definitely think the fellows would have cabin fever; quite frequently; but there are compensations; and I'm sure that they will get out when they really need to, especially Faramir, who's supposed to get his new princedom in order and also patrol the Eastern Front and start clearing out the Morgul Vale/Minas Ithil...

Reviewed by: Striderette  ✧  Score: 3

The return of the King is like a breath of fresh air for Gondor; and the new King and his young steward certainly deserve one themselves - especially on a warm summer day. Well written story full of gentle humor and warmth.....a nice snapshot of a Ranger/King who won't be so easily constrained by the stone walls of his new city.

Author response: Thanks much for reading and reviewing, Striderette. I had fun writing the ficlet. I do think it couldn't have always been sunshine and roses for a man used to near-constant outdoor activity to suddenly have to deal with politics, taxes, and paperwork. He's going to have to get out sometimes; and Faramir recognized that need and encouraged it...

Reviewed by: Sevilodorf  ✧  Score: 2

An apt reminder that all work and no play is not a good idea. A light hearted snapshot of the King and his Steward.

Reviewed by: Ellynn  ✧  Score: 1

Lovely, warm little story.

Author response: Thanks much for reviewing; Ellynn; I'm glad you enjoyed the piece. I enjoyed writing this small slice of post-Ring-War life.