There and Back
2008 Award Category: Races: Cross-Cultural: Fixed-Length Ficlets
Story Type: Fixed-Length Ficlet ✧ Length: Fixed-Length Ficlet Series
Rating: General ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: On the way to the Black Gate, and after.(Two 125 word ficlets.)
Reviewed by: Dreamflower ✧ Score: 10
Two-hundred-and-fifty absolutely perfect words, a double-drabble-and-a-half, and for me to properly review it, I would really need to quote almost the whole thing in square brackets. Still, I will do my very best to do it justice without such extreme measures! The first half of this fixed-length-ficlet is from Pippins point-of-view, during the long and terrible journey to the Black Gate. He is naturally pondering the futility of their march, worrying about the outcome, sure that he is going to his end, and thinking, of course, of Merry. But its more than just what Pippin is thinking and more about how hes thinking it, as is usually true of any story by Dana. She has a way of really getting deeply inside the characters heads. When you read a story of hers--of any length--you never doubt that you are getting the visceral responses of the character to his or her situation. In the second part of this, we get Beregonds point-of-view after the battle is over and the journey home begun. Its not just Pippin of whom he thinks, but of the other hobbits as well. It is clear that this man knows exactly who is responsible for his still being alive. I love the concluding line--it really is just perfect for this.
Reviewed by: Dwimordene ✧ Score: 5
Nice paired drabble, and using a pair of friends who don't get as much attention as they deserve. Pippin and Beregond aren't paralleled, here - rather, Beregond's view of Pippin's hardiness on the way back from the Black Gate contrasts interestingly with Pippin's worried perspective on the way to the Gate. One comes out of the pair of drabbles wondering whose view is more in tune with reality at any given moment, but glad of both. As always, Dana gives her characters a wonderful immediacy - the prose is streamlined and the present tense puts you right up close to the characters so that we can feel their emotions, yet they remain tactfully understated. Thanks, Dana!
Reviewed by: PipMer ✧ Score: 3
This is absolutely lovely. The first half of this ficlet is from Pippin's point of view, and the second half from Beregond's. Before the Battle at the Black Gate, and after. It captures well the hopelessness Pippin must have felt, and also the awe with which Beregond holds the Halflings.
Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland ✧ Score: 3
A well written pair of drabbles which convey Pippin's character well. I especially liked the injured Beregond's observations that Pippin helped him bear his pain and his admiration for the Hobbit.
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 3
Healing Hobbit and Guardsman--they went to the Black Gate and returned together, each thinking of the courage they've observed and those they care about. In spite of his ribs, Pippin still smiles, while Beregond finds himself remarking on the resilience of Hobbits.
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 3
I love the use of this particular title for Pippin's last, and in some respects, greatest journey of all his Ring War travels; complete with coda by a recovering Beregond after the battle is won and done. Pippin's grim yet practical thoughts are well-written; and Beregond is also characterised quite well.
Reviewed by: Garnet Took ✧ Score: 2
Beregond certainly had to have a great admiration for Pippin, and this story shows that so clearly. Very nice.
Reviewed by: nancylea ✧ Score: 1
in so many ways we can only be a poor reflection of how great a heart is in so small a wrapper