Nominator: Linda Hoyland
2006 Award Category: Races: Men: Steward's Sons Fixed-Length Ficlets - Second Place
Story Type: Fixed-Length Ficlet ✧ Length: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet
Rating: G ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Upon the Cormallen - Faramir ponders his past and his future.
Reviewed by: Rhapsody ✧ Score: 10
Amazing! I marvel at the manner how the author portrays the love of the Steward's Sons for the lands of Gondor. Each their own love and they would give anything to defend it. What is so beautifully written is how Faramir needs the healing of Ithilien, being scorched as it is after such a long occupation and the parallel of Denethor's demands on him (and not making use of his full potential) and his almost death in fire, stands out in this part: [I was summoned by my King once before - from the darkness of the Black Breath and another's breath. He held me in his arms and waited for death to take us both. But I was ripped from those arms that would take me through fire into another world a world free from the horrors that he thought awaited us. Even now, when darkness falls, I wonder why I was spared.] The parallel of Aragorn saving Faramir from death and Denethor wanting to take him into death is grimly explored here. It feels as if Faramir is still caught between these two and that he admits that he has troubles dealing with entering a new age, despite what good it might bring. The relief of Faramir that Ithilien will be his is very tangible, as a medicine he needs. Just as the lands need to grow back to what once was, so does Faramir need the time to heal itself, but that takes time. When I read the last line, I can only hope that the love and the healing qualities of the lands will heal his wounds, so that he and his future bride can enjoy thier new lives soon. This short story has many layers in well-written prose. Every time I re-read it, there is something new that appeals to me. A great piece of work!
Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland ✧ Score: 4
THis is a haunting and moving story about what Faramir might feel if summoned to Cormallen by the King.Everyone is rejoicing but Faramir is haunted by the losses he has suffered and knows he will need time to heal. A brighter future however is beckoning for the new Steward of Gondor, now he has met Aragorn and Eowyn. The writer beautifully evokes images of nature to fit with Faramir's moods and showshis passionate love for Gondor and most especially Ithilien where he will dwell with his bride.
Reviewed by: Marta ✧ Score: 4
This piece is a little unsettling, but in a good way. I can see that he want to be happy, but as Faramir says, ["(my heart) is still scorched in the twisted mass that once was the Stewards House"]. That captures so much of what this short piece is about. A paralyzing grief, a sense of self-doubt that makes him wonder whether this eden of his can be real. This was communicated very effectively toward the fluid description of the cumulada trees and everything he loves about grief, compared to the starts and stops when he thinks about himself and his past. Very effective, and very true to how I imagine Faramir's grief would be.
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 4
A fascinating examination of Faramir's emotions as he visits (apparently briefly) with his new king in Cormallen, rejoicing to be back in Ithilien, the land he loves and that will be his own demense soon. Very moving and poignant, with vivid imagery. One understands the loss of his brother, the desire to see this land fulfilled, the horror at the thought of how close he came to dying.
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 3
An interesting fixed-length vignette exploring Faramir's differing feelings for Minas Tirith and Ithilien between Sauron's downfall and Aragorn's coronation. The ending is a bit unexpected, but most of the piece flows well and it all holds the reader's interest quite well.
Reviewed by: Nesta ✧ Score: 3
Nice to see a happy Faramir, for once! I find him a bit passive here, though, and a bit over-grateful to Aragorn for giving him back what belonged to him in the first place. That's only my view, though, and I'm prejudiced.
Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke ✧ Score: 3
This is a very interesting meditation and covers so much ground - not only Ithilien and Minas Tirith, but the past, future, love and loss as well. No wonder you needed 400 words - nothing else would have done it justice.
Reviewed by: Dwimordene ✧ Score: 3
Departures seem to weight heavily on Faramir: from Ithilien, from Boromir, and from the fate his father had in store for him. The past remains a yoke that prevents him from matching Éowyn's anticipation - he's still claimed by it, rather than wholly by her.
Reviewed by: Dreamflower ✧ Score: 3
This captures very well the ambivalence Faramir must have felt in the immediate aftermath of the War, still smarting and grieving from the loss of his brother and father, and yet hopeful in his newfound love for Eowyn and his newfound allegiance to the King, and his renewed love for his Ithilien.
Reviewed by: Bodkin ✧ Score: 3
Poor Faramir - a tough time for him. Everything in his life has changed - but he has the quiet strength and honour to deal with it all. Just as well really. I have my doubts that Aragorn's hopes would have worked out so well without him.