Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Creature of Fire

Author: daw the minstrel
Nominator: elliska
2005 Award Category: Races/Places: Elves: Mirkwood - First Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Novella
Rating: PG-13 -- Reason for Rating: Violence
Summary: Set in the year 2770 TA, this story follows Legolas through adventures both personal and canonical. Those who recognize the date from "The Tale of Years" will know that a creature of fire is about to descend on Dale.


Reviewed by: Karenator -- Score: 10

This is a wonderful examination of grief and the rebuilding of shattered lives, daw. The pain is still there for Legolas, but he's slowly taking steps back toward coping and going on. I really liked the scene where Legolas vaguely recalls returning home. I could see and feel how exhausted he was from the shock and grief. He had managed to hang on until Thranduil arrived and then he could give control over to his adar and he could just sleep. Maybe even simply escape for a while into sleep. You've created such wonderfully strong and complex characters. I like the way you let us ride along on the roller coaster of Legolas's swinging emotions. He was still having a hard time seeing happy couples and accepting comfort from his family. He did allow Thranduil to comfort him in his chambers, but he quickly wanted to get away. The scene where he went to see Galelas was also nicely done. These two hardheaded elves are making small steps toward understanding one another. Legolas also got a glimpse into Galelas's family. Nothing like seeing how bad some other people have it to appreciate how good you have it. Have I mentioned how much I love Beliond lately? He's straight to the point, isn't he? "Get your gear. We are going camping." No hello, no kiss my foot, just get moving. But he was right that what Legolas needed was some quiet time. And he gave it to him. He's a softy for a tough old bird. And he's quite wise. From personal experience. He's such a well drawn character. I was also glad to see Annael. He's a good friend and his mother certainly did have a good understanding of what Legolas was suffering at this point. Sweet Elowen. It was good for Legolas to see people who had experienced what he was going through and see that they had survived. Of course, the best example was Adar. The talk in the garden was perfect. Not too long and full of spoken and unspoken wisdom. Legolas's sudden memory of his mother was comforting. I'm sure if Lorellin has any 'Elven magic' at her disposal, she's doing all she can from wherever she is. The scene was a lovely exchange between a father and his 'adult' son. I liked the way Thranduil related so honestly with Legolas during this talk. I know you nearly went nuts writing so much angst and from writing only from Legolas's perspective, but I have to say that you did an amazing job. This is such a good story. Full of everything that makes a story good. You have much to be proud of in this one. Great, great story, daw.

Reviewed by: obsidianj -- Score: 7

This is the heartbreaking story of how Legolas lost the love of his life and explains why he appears unmarried during the Lord of the Rings. Legolas's love interest is an OFC, an elf. The reader doesn't really get to know her before she dies in an accident, but her character is well described. The reader feels there would be much more to learn about her if there would be more time. The whole story is from Legolas point of view and the reader goes with him through the stages of shock and mindnumbing grief before, with the help of his family and friends, he can start to heal. Legolas and his father Thranduil are the only canonical characters in this tale. There are a host of original characters the reader gets to know and love easily. All characters are fleshed out well and feel like they belong into Tolkien's world.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 7

I love the way that the personal issues are woven into the a larger story arc that affects everyone, such as Legolas losing Tuilinn during Smaug's destruction of Erebor. Said destruction was brilliantly told, by the way, with some excellent pacing and riveting action. But sometimes the big conflicts are best told by boiling them down into something closer to home, and Legolas's reaction to Tuilinn's death was very personal. His various stages of shock were so true to real life that it hurt, and his family's attempts to help, though done with good intentions, only seemed to make things worse. Thank goodness for Beliond, who gained new respect from me over the course of this story. Overall, great characterization and great weaving of bigger events into very personal matters.

Reviewed by: elliska -- Score: 7

So much for the northern patrol being some place Legolas can go to get away from the worst of the dangers. I love in this story seeing Legolas interact fairly equally with his oldest brother, Legolas's encounter with the dwarves and his efforts to deal with Sinnarn (fire jumping this time!) and Galelas, But of course my favorite part was the appearance of the maiden from Spring Awakenings--Tuilinn. I loved how he reacted to first seeing her (and how the captain and others reacted to him) and I loved their conversation. You did such a good job of showing that very unique elven bond. You did an equally great job making a tense end to their story and showing Legolas's complete grief. That must have been very hard to write and you captured it perfectly. This is a great, if absolutely tragic, explanation of why Legolas does not seem attached in the trilogy.

Reviewed by: Larian Elensar -- Score: 5

NOoooooo! I mean, I knew Legolas couldn't marry her, but....Yikes!! I'm glad that Legolas and Galelas came to an understanding, though under the circumstances, they could hardly do anything else. It's funny, but I never liked him much until Eilian did, and you showed more of what his home life was like--with his older brother and all. You know, seeing how much Legolas longs for a relationship, I wonder if you're going to give him one, once he gets to Valinor....*grin* I guess he could meet Tuillin again? That would be sweet enough even for all of us mushy romance lovers!

Reviewed by: jastaelf -- Score: 5

Cutting and pasting, here we go again.... There is always just something refreshing and brilliant about this story for me. I have gone back and read, then re-read, this tale many times. And yes, I will say this about many of the stories that have been nominated this year.
But I adore daw's work....
The characterizations here are brilliant. daw has a great eye for such details, and she uses language so beautifully... there are no dull thunks in my head when I read her works, no "this doesn't ring true", because she takes (in my mind anyway!) a great deal of time and hard work to craft her stories. Elves are proper Elves, Men are proper Men, Hobbitses are Hobbity, Dwarves are Dwarven... and it all comes together as a lovely whole. I could go on forever. There are so many sparkling examples.
this story has so many things to recommend it: seeing a canon situation from a new perspective (Smaug etc), excellent writing and characterization as always--and a tragic Legomance that we could have seen coming if we'd paid attention, but OH GOD it still hurts to see it.... Legolas's grief is so realistic, so perfectly sad and realistic, that it is not possible to read through this tale at any point without crying. But that's a GOOD thing!
SO well written... and my thanks for creating a suite of OCs that I love as much as Tolkien's originals, for their own sake as well as for the simple fact that they are true to Tolkien! (grin) Thank you, daw, for this lovely piece of work!
And for ALL your stuff!!!

Reviewed by: Ainaechoiriel -- Score: 4

This nomination gave me an excuse to start reading in Daw's series, even if out of order. Remembering that it is part of a series chronicalling Legolas's life, so to speak, it's a good read and a sad one as we find that Legolas had a love and lost here. Definitely made Smaug seem scarier, too. Got off to a slow start, but all the original characters were well-developed even if they were new to me. I wish I had time to read more of the series if this is any indication of the quality.

Reviewed by: Bodkin -- Score: 2

Alas, poor Tuilinn. She was fated. The part where Legolas betroths himself to her - very touching. And a great deal of understanding from Beliond. But sad!

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 2

This is a great story filled with suspense and angst, covering the time when Smaug the Dragon descended on Erebor. The details are very canonical, and I really like this author's version of Legolas and Mirkwood.