Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards


Author: Elena Tiriel
Nominator: Tanaqui
2008 Award Category: Times: Late Third Age: General Fixed-Length Ficlets - Second Place

Story Type: Fixed-Length Ficlet : Length: True Drabble
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: 100 words A proud and ancient weapon is restored to its former might.

Reviewed by: Tanaqui -- Score: 10

Elena Tiriel may not be one of the most prolific drabblists in the fandom, but she is certainly amongst the most accomplished. Her work is always worth reading, and re-reading, because she produces drabbles that not only meet the basic requirement of the form -- a tale told in one hundred words -- but which compress story arc, language, characterisation and every other facet of a longer work into a satisfying package. This particular drabble shows off every facet of Elena Tiriel's facility as a drabble-artiste supreme. The choice of point of view character for telling of the reforging of Narsil, the blade-that-was-broken into Anduril is simply inspired, and shows Elena Tiriel's gift for finding a fresh perspective whenever she tackles a topic. The language, as it always is in every one of her drabbles, is meticulously chosen and as well honed as the renewed blade -- I have been witness to the careful labour with which Elena Tiriel polishes her work -- while the description of the forging and fashioning process is both technically accurate and deeply poetic. More than that, Elena Tiriel gives us the sword as a living entity, a servant rather than merely a tool of the Kings. In the naming of parts, she wittily anthropomorphize the various qualities of the sword, sustaining the metaphor lightly yet with great solidity throughout the drabble. That she can achieve all this in a mere hundred words is artistry indeed! Bravissima!

Reviewed by: nancylea -- Score: 10

the only drabble i every succeeded in writing happened because i ran out of thing to say at one hundred and ten words and so i decided to go in and cut ten words. drabbling is a lot harder then most people may think and i really like how you start most lines almost poetry-wise with an action and then expand the thought just a hair.this method of writing would show a great deal of skill in planning and execution. i think it was in the fifth line that i was certain who you were writing, and i settled in to enjoy the reforge. i found it interesting that you touch on the blood that has already been split but don't mention that most sword-making calls for either the makers or wielders blood to strenthen the blade. with only one hundred words to use you have painted a fairly complex diagram of how to regenerate a used weapon into a stunning work of art. the only thing you don't deliver is the blistering heat that you allude to. it almost seems that we could be standing on some cool shaded spot some distance from the actual forge. i am impressed with your ability to keep your story short and to the point, but it is getting harder and harder to try to give you a full ten point vote.if i manage to get this to a full vote do you think i could get a tall glass of something soothing.

Reviewed by: Imhiriel -- Score: 9

I have been so exceedingly lucky in my "harvest" of birthday stories this year, and a fair number of them have ended up in the MEFAwards to be exposed to a wider readership who might appreciate them as much as I do. This drabble evokes the power and heat and passion of the process of sword making, at once violent and creative - and also healing in a way - which the striking form and its particular, driving rhythm evokes perfectly. The melding (pun half intended) of describing the process while bringing alive the sword as an aware personality which reflects this process on a different level is done very effectively. The readers can follow how, step by step, the sword comes alive and regains its former strength and purity. IIRC, it was old custom to quench the sword with blood - it was an intriguingly reverse touch that here the sword had to be purified by heat from the taint of Sauron's blood. And my hat off for extra geekery *g* in the author's notes: I love reading details which revealing something of the creative process before and during the writing - the more the better. I especially appreciated the explanation about ["the resilience of Isil"].

Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 6

Adopting the perspective of things often brings such a wonderful expansion of a world. Elena Tiriel gives us an incantatory evocation of Narsil's reforging. It's a perfect match: from the perspective of Narsil-Anduril, the reforging is a rite of purification. Rites are set and patterned, highly orchestrated and choreographed, even the simplest. The symbolization of different ideas in actions are important, and incantation and repetition of words can help to establish correspondences. I like the tempo of this piece. The italicized sections do their job of opening and blocking out the rest of the lines, and provide a certain martial rhythm - a pattern of precise stops, and also a series of steps and stages. A lovely drabble, Elena Tiriel!

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 4

A most excellent drabble detailing the renewal of that most excellent and powerful of swords, Narsil, as it is re-shaped into Anduril. Most remarkably, the drabble is written from the sword's point of view; with a wonderful mix of high language and knowledge of the mechanics of sword-smithing. And Elena being Elena, a high Lore-mistress of HASA, the Notes are well worth reading as well. The notion of the reforged sword containing the resilience of the moon as well as the strength of the sun, befitting its making, is a lovely conceit.

Reviewed by: Lindelea -- Score: 4

This is a drabble? It cannot be! There is so much here, surely it is a longer work... But no. Hard to comprehend that it is a mere 100 words, but written with skill and astonishing economy of keystroke, striking the reader as more poetry than prose. The italicized words, all active verbs, add an urgency and force of life to the voice of the speaker. Unusual POV, very effective.

Reviewed by: SĂșlriel -- Score: 3

As usual, you take my breath away with your deeply emotional imagery. You have a truly special talent in your ability to get so deeply in point of view and bring characters to life. You know I love all your writing in general, but this is one that shines even above and beyond your usual work.

Reviewed by: Isabeau of Greenlea -- Score: 3

A masterful drabble. I particularly appreciated the form of the piece, and the way the sword refers to itself as a person. The analogy could have seemed a bit far-fetched, but Elena carries it off nicely.

Reviewed by: Elen Kortirion -- Score: 3

A really thought provoking example of animism that gives voice to the great sword of Telcontar. The prose is lyrical and eloquent, and the well chosen phrases leap off the page like the best poetry, to form fascinating images that stay in the mind.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 2

Step by step we see Anduril reforged. Well chosen images, and a proud tone to match the glory of the Sword Reforged.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland -- Score: 2

I loved this account of the renewing of Narsil and turning the sword into Anduril. Phoenix like,the great sword arises again from flame and ash.

Reviewed by: Antane -- Score: 1

An interesting little poem about Anduril from the POV of the sword itself - well done!

Reviewed by: viv -- Score: 1

There's a rhythm to this piece when you read it out loud, almost like poetry. Nifty!