Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

In Darkness Bound

Author: Fiondil
Nominator: Ellynn
2011 Award Category: Elves: House of Finwë

Story Type: Story : Length: Novel
Rating: Teen -- Reason for Rating: Disturbing Imagery/Themes,Violence
Summary: In the aftermath of the Darkening, three kings search for meaning in the midst of tragedy. One seeks absolution; another, vengeance, while the third merely endeavors to salvage what he can from the disaster and protect his people from future harm. All may find what they are looking for, though not necessarily in the way they expect, for, as always, the Valar have their own agenda.


Reviewed by: obsidianj -- Score: 10

This is a sweeping, epic tale that tells the story of what happened in Aman after the trees were destroyed and what happened after Feanor left. It explores why Findarato and Galdriel followed Feanor, and how the people left behind picked up the pieces. How did Arafinwe become King of the Noldor? The stories in the Silmarillion mostly focus on what happens to the elves that left for Middle-earth. This story focuses on the people in Aman. The story is dark in places and very emotional, but has humor and comic relief in all the right places. The Valar with their unique personalities make sure of that. I still see Namo pulling the sword out of himself and contemplating how much trouble he is in when Vaire sees his ruined clothing. I laughed and cried while reading. The characters come to life in this story. My favorite character changed with the focus of the tale, whether it is Arafinwe, or Ingwe or Ingwion and Intarion. At the end they all have a place in my heart. There is a host of characters in this story, each with their unique voice. I could strangle the villain, but he still had his moments where I could almost follow his reasoning. A very worthy read if you want to really forget everything around you.

Reviewed by: agape4gondor -- Score: 7

One of the best pieces EVER of the time immediately after the loss of the Trees. Great imagination on this one. From Ungoliant's dreadful 'meal,' to Feanor's leaving, to the tale of those left behind... the story never ceases to amaze. I love all the characters. There are quite a few, needless to say, but they all have their own voice. Even the Valar. The places are easily envisioned. The juxtaposition of one to the other works well. I'm never lost. That's something what with what little we know of the Blessed Realm. I'm glad Fiondil did not delve into those who left, but kept his focus on those who remained. OR those who left and returned before the Ice. Very well written. Angst and terror and treachery and betrayal. The tale encompasses every emotion known to Man or Elf. Many of the moments are difficult to read. Excellent foreshadowing makes it even worse. Yet, the pace and the quality make the reader HAVE to continue. Wondrously done. I am in awe.

Reviewed by: Ellie -- Score: 6

This is a fascinating work filling on some major gaps left by Tolkien. This is an interesting character study in the growth and challenges of the kings as well as many of the princes of Valinor among the Noldor, the Vanyar, and the Teleri. I greatly enjoyed the coming of age of so many who seemd as if they shoudl have been fully mature and "adult" at the beginning of the story. Their foibles and follies and judgements and misjudgements all lead to chaos but also to acceptance and in some cases death. I was fascinated by the exploration of the roel of king as servant and the exploration of faith and shaken faith in many forms. The elves were not the only ones to learn a great many hard and tragic lessons in this great long tale spanning years, but the Valar themselves and Maiar all learned much as well. This is an epic work and well worth the read. Bravo!

Reviewed by: Kaylee Arafinwiel -- Score: 4

Ah, one of Atarinya's works in progress. *grins at Fiondil* In Darkness Bound is quickly becoming one of my favorite stories from Fiondil (and, um, considering I like EVERYTHING he's written, that says a lot ^.^) It tells, in the main, the untold story of the Amanyar who were left behind after the Noldor departed, and so far, it's gotten quite thrilling - I never know which way the story will turn next! Brilliant as ever, and I'm SO glad tomorrow is Friday!! More chapters! Yay! Kaylee Arafinwiel

Reviewed by: goldleaves -- Score: 2

A marvelous story that captivates and gives insight into the thoughts and feelings of the characters and displays their life and struggles vividly. A brilliant read!

Reviewed by: Ellynn -- Score: 2

For all those who love the first age, elves, maiar and valar, this is a must-read-story - an excellent mixture of drama, action and thriller.