Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Tainted Light

Author: Eldalie
Nominator: Encairion
2010 Award Category: Genres: Longer Works: Incomplete

Story Type: Incomplete : Length: Medium Length
Rating: Teen -- Reason for Rating: My story contains themes, such as war, conflict, and mild sexual situations, that may not be suitable for children younger than 13.
Summary: About one third completed; should eventually be novel-length Silmë loved and followed Maedhros from the peace of Valinor to his fiery end. Now Galadriel, her cousin and friend, reads her memories; the exile and the downfall of the Noldorin Elves live again through the tale of this doomed love


Reviewed by: Encairion -- Score: 10

There are few writers who can tackle the true pain, desperation, and hopelessness of the exiled Noldor, and fewer still that can do so as beautifully as Eldalie does. She has created an OFC who is elvish, of royal blood, and who falls in love with one of the most immortalized and haunted ellon in Tolkien’s writing –Maedhros. Silmë is utterly unlike any other OFC I have ever read. She is *real* and so very elven, that you forget she is not cannon. But Eldalie’s talent is not just for OC’s. She has taken one of the most complicated characters in Tolkien, Galadriel, and given her a true fire and will that rivals Fëanor himself. I find myself admiring, and understanding Galadriel as I have never done before. Her writing is heavy, and terribly emotional. She paints scenes and times I have read many times before, and yet leaves me moved and amazed at the subtle and desperate passion she infuses into every word. Eldalie’s work is filled with the most beautiful lyrical descriptions, it’s practically poetry set to the backdrop of a riveting story that leaves one heartbroken, in tears, and raging. It pulls back the layers of Tolkien’s work and gives us an almost painful narrative of some of the most tragic, and legendary events in elven history. It is doomed love at its most magnificent.

Reviewed by: Angmar -- Score: 10

When Galadriel finally gets around to reading the memoirs of her friend Silme, she stirs up old memories, both painful and good. Silme and Maedhros were a pair of star crossed lovers whose relationship was doomed from the beginning. Aredhel Serinde did a good job of developing this concept, and made her characters interesting. I thought Galadriel was a little too much on the doom and gloom side, but since she had the gift of precognition, her pessimistic side could be understood. After all, she could foresee the dark days which would fall upon Aman, and the end of bliss and beauty. Silme goes from hopeful plans for the future with her husband to discouragement when the Noldor leave Aman behind and travel to Middle-earth. Still her love for Maedhros is always strong. It would not be easy being in love with the son of Feanor, the creator of the Silmarils who rebels against the Valar after Melkor steals them. Maedhros, Feanor's fiery red-headed son, tries to uphold the family honor, which is a difficult job for anyone. If you want to read a story about the Noldor from a slightly different slant, I recommend this tale by Aredhel Serinde. The author has a skill in writing that lends itself to eloquence and style. A worthwhile read for anyone.

Reviewed by: Araloth the Random -- Score: 8

It really is hard to know where to begin. I was enthralled by Eldalie’s writing from the moment I began reading her work. The first person point of view, which in my opinion so often constrains, has proved to be a strong point in her writing. Her characterisations and descriptions are so vivid, with the attention paid to detail exquisite and lending itself to the portrayal of a very real yet at the same time almost surreal environment. How she manages to pull off this apparent contradiction I will never know, but she does it! In Tainted Light the themes of light and darkness are interwoven skilfully into the tale, sometimes in direct contrast to one another and other times nearly intertwined and interdependent. I loved the characters, both canon and OC; Eldalie gives them a fresh charm that makes them loveable. The lyrical, poetic prose with which she writes is something that I think Tolkien would be proud of! And she uses this style consistently and masterfully. This is a beautiful piece of fiction that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and which I look forward to seeing fully completed.