Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

On a Spring Morn

Author: Cairistiona
Nominator: Inzilbeth
2009 Award Category: Races: Men: Northern Dunedain - Third Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Life is renewed on a chill morning in the North - a glimpse of the quieter side of Dunedain life.


Reviewed by: Dreamdeer -- Score: 10

Ahhh! This story is the perfect dessert to savor after reading Cairistiona's novel, "At Hope's Edge". (Titles don't count as quotes, do they?) The two set each other off exquisitely; I really recommend that you go read the novel first, and then come back to this.. The novel gives these simple-seeming events far more meaning than the reader might catch otherwise, and the short story balances the drama and well-constructed angst of the novel with an enornous sigh of relief, well-earned at this point. Throughout, Cairistiona's talent remains what I have come to expect and respect: a fully-realized sense of place, time, and circumstances; characters well-defined by actions, dialogue, and relationships, a connosieur's balance of bitter and sweet (this one more on the side of sweet, to offer good counterpoint to the novel's emphasis on bitter) an overall development of sense of reality, and enough reason for the reader to care very much about what happens in the course of the story, topped off by a generous dollop of humor bringing out all of the other flavors present. I have really come to look forward to whatever Cairistiona comes up with next. (I confess that I do wonder, in this story, just how messy Aragorn's hand was before certain physical exchanges towards the end! But I suppose discretion would leave that part unsaid.)

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 7

As fond as I am of adventure and action and harrowing, perilous, heroic deeds, I find myself just as drawn to these quieter stories. Because there is as much power in the simple moments as there is in the gallant bravery. And sometimes it takes just as much courage to move through the every day crises. Waiting (even while distracting oneself with a pregnant ewe) can be as trying as any battle. The banter between Halbarad and Aragorn felt just right to me. They were focused on their task (and Halbarad was also focused on another situation developing up in the house) but they were also able to find satisfaction in the fact that it was a beautiful spring day and life had renewed itself. And they were able to find satisfaction in tormenting one another. I was particularly happy to see the impromptu wrestling match. Spring seems to bring out the boy in any man, and that certainly applies to Rangers. Brilliant character work in a very powerful but quiet little story.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 5

A charming vignette which starts and ends with a birth - the reader is not led, but might assume that the infant Aragorn is trying hard to deliver at the beginning is a child of the Dunedain, but it is actually a lamb. There is something amusing as well as very real-seeming for the Chieftain to be struggling to pull a recalcitrant lamb out of an ewe's womb. But there's a very appropriate tie-in with the lamb's birth and the birth of the child who comes forth without Aragorn's assistance, the notion of Aragorn as a shepherd. Another fine piece of Aragorn fanfiction among the many I've seen in MEFA this year!

Reviewed by: obsidianj -- Score: 4

What a lovely domestic scene from the Dunedain. So opposite to the usual doom and gloom and dreary happenings. I like it that Halbarad and Aragorn can just be themselves without the burden of the world on their shoulders. The wrestling match is a first I ever see Aragorn indulge in. Usually he is described as too dignified for that. But it it is perfect to emphasize the mood of this tale.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 4

Well, I can safely say I had never thought of the particular pains that might be involved in delivering a lamb until reading this fic. I liked the banter back and forth between Aragorn and Halbarad as the lamb is delivered, and then afterward. Halbarad seems to have learned the art of keeping his Chieftain in the present rather than letting him go off into the grim considerations of past and future: [Halbarad immediately slapped the back of Aragornís head. "No doom and gloom from you today. Just look at that sunshine!" ] The total lack of reverence works well both inside the story and for the reader, who can't but laugh. Thanks for an enjoyable read!

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland -- Score: 4

A lovely, warm,life affirming story, which shows Aragorn not only as a great healer of men, but also handy at delivering a lamb when the ewe has difficulties. Tolkien did in other sources, I believe, say Aragorn could heal animals. It is delightful to see Aragorn helping the ewe and Halbarad and the easy bond between the two as well as a rare happy and relaxed moment for them both when the lamb is safely born. A delightful read.

Reviewed by: Silivren Tinu -- Score: 3

A mostly lighthearted Aragorn-Halbarad friendship story, which perfectly captures the spirit of spring and its neverending promise of renewal in more than one way. I very much enjoyed both the playful and the more serious moments between the two friends in this story, and the ending was just perfect.

Reviewed by: Starlight -- Score: 3

This was a very lovely vignette that explores that interesting duality of warrior/healer in Aragorn. I love the fact that he realizes this, and is a little puzzled at it, but goes on as the world does, trying to enjoy the few moments of respite he is given. Very, very nice!

Reviewed by: Isabeau of Greenlea -- Score: 3

Awwwww. I keep sheep, so I enjoyed this tale of new lives coming into being on a cold spring morning. It was interesting to see Aragorn up to his elbows as it were in such an agricultural setting, and Halbarad is perfect as a soon-to-be father. The theme of renewal is carried forward in Aragorn's musings about his future.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 3

How better to celebrate a bright spring morning than to see two births successfully completed? And Aragorn and Halbarad certainly see to that! And may Halbarad's prophecy prove a true one! So realistic for such a people as the Dunedain, and the story elements are particularly well chosen and presented.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 2

Two joyous events, closely connected, and delightfully portrayed. I love the relationship Cairistiona has developed between Halbarad and Aragorn.