Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Surprise

Author: Dawn Felagund
Nominator: Rhapsody
2008 Award Category: Times: First Age and Prior

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: Teen -- Reason for Rating: discussion of sexuality between a married couple
Summary: n/a Mahtan on the birth of his daughter Nerdanel: on lives changed and dark destinies fulfilled.


Reviewed by: Rhapsody -- Score: 10

This story is such a fabulous piece concerning a father who has postponed his career for an unplanned child. Well that would be a way to describe the main plotline, there is however so much more to this. We get an insight in Mahtan's thought who after siring and raising two daughters, suddenly becomes a father again. There is so much regret in Mahtan's voice, expectations & ambition being put on hold. It nearly feels the theme of every parent who finds him or herself with the immense responsibility of raising a child, but also knowing it has an effect on your own ambitions. What can one do, holding a grudge or enfolding this child with all the love you have to offer? This story just shows that he loves her, but his struggle with what he wants is so tangible: brutally honest, his love for Nerdanel is just so precious as well. Dawn does not hold back on both accounts, but even portrays a bond between father and daughter, bringing the story to a wonderfully metaphysical level. Now this master move is so immensely well done that at the end you just wonder at the end what has been thoughts of feelings of foresight and what not. Then the author weaves in a mother's foresight simply gives me the chill: ["She will," said IstarniŽ. "For a spell."] Just as the rain and thunder appears like a spell, the ending is so darkly, yet not, the vision and foreshadowing, his bond with her, I so can imagine that he will protect her as much as he can, and when she sheds tears as an adult, I can't help to think Mahtan will hear them in his heart as well. Those two have a deep connection and it I somehow feel Mahtan will always feel he never gave her enough compared to the others. What an immensely well written story to cover so much from the title with the surprising twists and layers, leaving you as a reader with many riches and thoughts to explore. Thank you Dawn!

Reviewed by: Imhiriel -- Score: 5

A fascinating gap-filler. Great characterisations, especially in the PoV-character. AulŽ's workshop and the diverse duties and workings of Mahtan it are presented very clearly. I liked how the story is infused with the ambiguity Mahtan felt regarding the joys and duties of fatherhood versus his ambitions regarding his chosen profession. The forebodings and visions Mahtan experiences are woven very well into the narrative; in fact, they come up so seamlessly that it is slightly unsettling, which I found very effective considering their content.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 4

Ah, Dawn, what a wonderful introduction of Mahtan, Istarnie, and their most famous daughter, their surprise, as you have put it, Nerdanel. It appears she is indeed her father's daughter. A wonderfully told story, and love the insertion of the tale of stars coming from Aule's forge as Varda capitalizes on a chance experience and takes it further. How delightful!

Reviewed by: whitewave -- Score: 3

It is always great to read of excellent "fillers" regarding Nerdanel, who played a significant role but was so under-exposed in the Silmarillion. She must have come from quite an exceptional family who moulded her into what she had become--wife to the greatest (and most temperamental) Eldar and father to his seven equally fiery sons.

Reviewed by: SurgicalSteel -- Score: 3

I don't believe I've ever read fic about Nerdanel's parents before, but if this is any indication of what's out there, I'll be looking for more. The emotions between Mahtan and Istarnie really felt true and honest and as if this is the way it might really have happened.

Reviewed by: nancylea -- Score: 1

won't think it could happen to elves.