Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Warping Arda: Spectrum

Author: Clodia
Nominator: Lyra
2010 Award Category: Genres: Character Study: Drabble Series - Second Place

Story Type: Drabble : Length: True Drabble Series
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Seven drabbles. A dyer's garden of drabbles to colour Imladris every shade of the rainbow.


Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 10

There's a definite art to making fragments of conversations and pieces of moments come alive and become stories unto themselves. It's not something that a lot of authors can do, so it was a fascinating treasure to find seven drabbles-worth by Clodia. The thing that intrigues me most about these drabbles is perhaps best showcased by the last drabble, in which Erestor insists that he definitely does not want to know. It's never overtly stated what he doesn't want to know or find out, but it's cleverly implied through Elrond's own bewilderment and the casual mention of giggling and wine. I love Erestor's calm assurance that whatever it is, it probably isn't about Elrond. There's no explanation given and Melinna and Celebrian aren't even mentioned by name until the last sentence, but the traditional girls' night is clear and unmistakable. That's tough to do, and there are six other drabbles just as layered and just as nuanced. And as always, I love Clodia's characterizations. Her Erestor and Melinna have become favorites of mine, and she really fleshes Celebrian out as being a good friend to the latter. The obsession with colors was a wonderful way to explore the characters, and I love Melinna's fascination and the contrasting exasperation from Erestor. A thorough glimpse of partial moments rendered vividly by Clodia's capable pen.

Reviewed by: Virtuella -- Score: 7

I head someone say that "drabble" was too prosaic a word for Clodia's short pieces and that "miniatures" would be more appropriate. I agree. What a deligfhtful string of miniatures this is! Scene after scene is exquisitely rendered, there is an individual flavour to each drabble and yet a tone that unites them all. With much attention to detail and with a gentle touch of humour, Clodia lays out in front of us a feast of colours. Talking about fabric dyes might have been a dull or at least a mundane subject, but in Clodia's hands it becomes poetic and engaging, inspiring very vivid visual images like that of Celebrian drawing a circle into the dye powder: a small gesture, but very evocative. In a very small space, the characters come across very clearly, and once again, Melinna shines as the most intriguing. But there is also Celebrian's calm interest, Erestor's ignorance and the misplaced curiostity of the twins - all of these make for a very pleasant read.

Reviewed by: Kitt Otter -- Score: 6

Quaint and educational – hobbits must get their yellow waistcoats and Elves their green cloaks somehow! And I enjoyed the Latin! The infusion of the colors was clever and not always obvious, like the yellow drabble. The mirroring of the yellow dye and the sun was delightful. It made me want to find somewhere warm to nap. My favorite drabble was the last, but if I quote it, I’ll have to enclose the whole thing. I’ll try to restrain myself – [“They were giggling,” he said incredulously. “I could hear them giggling.” “Women do that sometimes. Don’t worry. They probably weren’t giggling about you.”] And this from the second – [“Of course we must be elegantly dressed,” yawned Erestor, “while wandering in the wilderness.”] LOL! He never looses his dignity. ‘Cavalier’ also sticks in my mind. I felt as though I could see the painting, dramatic and vibrant, and spot on (to my Spartan mind): Numenor’s fall or Nirnaeth Arnoediad, what’s the difference to an artist? This was a fun set, as anything involving Erestor and Melinna can only be. Clodia's outdone herself once more.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 6

Clodia's Erestor does not wander Beleriand or later Eriador alone, but instead with his clever wife. In Imladris Melennin finds a sister of the soul in Elrond's wife Celebrian, who shares her fascination for fabrics and dyes. And as Melennin and Celebrian collect and share materials used in dying particular colors and discuss their finds and their qualities, their husbands learn to nod and look interested, as there is no stopping the women once they begin on how this particular plant or flower or seed needs to be processed in order to obtain a particular color! Fascinating and witty, this made me remember college days when I was learning how to obtain and use such dyes myself! And I found I could empathise more easily with Elrond and Erestor than did their wives!

Reviewed by: The Lauderdale -- Score: 5

This is a great series for the surprisingly subtle and multivarious qualities it yields up. The vividness of the colors described. The practicality and science of the dyer's art: botanical lore and gathering practices, procedures for applying the dyes. The magic of it as well, which comes across to me most clearly (NOT knowing anything about dyes myself) in the incantation of the beautiful Latin terms that introduce each drabble. And of course the characterization and rich vein of humor that runs throughout: it isn't just women versus men, it's knowledgeable dyers versus the (happily) clueless. I think that "Verdigris (Cavalier)" must be my favorite.

Reviewed by: curiouswombat -- Score: 4

Clodia's drabbles are always beautifully written, and this set is no exception to that. But, perhaps, the very best thing about this set, featuring Erestor's wife Melinna, is how very educational they are. Ww learn which plant is used to obtain which dye, which colours are difficult to achieve, and so on - all facts that are fascinating in themselves, and even more so when woven into this drabble set.

Reviewed by: Tanaqui -- Score: 4

I love the dye-lore that subtly tints these drabbles, which between them cover not only aspects of the dyer's craft but also family relationships and domestic life in different settings. Clodia demonstrates a high level of skill in the language she has used, selecting shades and tones of vocabulary that create vivid word pictures. An extremely effective series – well done!

Reviewed by: Elfique -- Score: 3

I like the flow of this, its all connected so well and even though time has skipped between each section it really didn't feel like a beat had been missed when it comes to the characters as I read through. I also liked the sense of family and community that were 'warped' into this!

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland -- Score: 3

This drabbles had a lovely fey dreamlike quality about them which made the reader feel they were dreaming or glimpsing times past. Clodia is a true mistress of her craft and weaves dreams with words.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 3

These were a lot of fun. I enjoyed the conversations about the various properties of plants as dyes. I love how Melinna bores Erestor, but how she and Celebrian enjoy talking about them. A very nice picture of feminine friendship over shared interests between the two of them. And a most clever use of all the prompts.