Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Tales of Older Days

Author: Clodia
Nominator: crowdaughter
2010 Award Category: Genres: Humor: Incomplete - Second Place

Story Type: Incomplete : Length: Medium Length
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: About 30% completed at present (10,700 words). Dwarves, Elves and dragon cubs, oh my! A light-hearted adventure starring Erestor, among others. It's 2430 T.A. and a hapless urchin is fleeing through the midnight streets of Bree...


Reviewed by: Kitt Otter -- Score: 10

I was looking forward to this. After weeks of having no time to get beyond the summary – and an enticing summary at that – this did not disappoint. E and M are deliciously dangerous. I like this [Events balanced on a blade's edge.] Classic argument! So I guess their knowledge of dwarf-speech is a wee bit outdated…? Speaking of dialect, I adore the heavy Bree of the urchin and the guard. ["You shouldn't wave swords an' axes an' things around like that. A pers'n might get 'urt."] – excellent advice. Gogollescent! What a mouthful. Wonderful. It shall be the name of my next cat. And full of surprises… the urchin’s a she, the villain’s a glamorous lady, the item we all want… a dragon egg. Eeee! And Tolkien’s dragons ain’t the nice kind. Gasp!!! You CAN pick a dwarven lock. That made my night! Yes. Definitely Radagast. I’m not too sure about Thranduil… well, give a few years. ["she has a point. We can hardly leave her here. The Dwarves will tear her apart." "That will teach her an important lesson about stealing from Dwarves," said Erestor.] - I think Erestor also has a good point. Seriously, after the manner of Dickens’ grubby urchins, Gogol’s a lovable little thing. At a good distance from one’s pockets. [Gogol goggled.] – I had so wanted to see that combination! Vivid description of the twitchy, translucent egg; I very much wanted to hold it! That’s interesting! I never took the ‘cold’ in cold drake literally. Kat ought to be more pleased, she has the world’s first freezer. Alas, she didn’t get her money. Poor girl. I still like her… though her maternal instinct leaves much to be desired… ["Brought her up like my own child, didn't I? If I had a child, which I don't, not being a fool like my poor sister, maysherestinpeace. Lavished her with love and attention, I did! And how does the brat repay me?”] I was delighted by the cattish ways of the dragon! They really do have more in common with cats than lizards: dignified, sleep all day, play with food. I can kinda surmise some of Morgoth’s… hem… ingredients… Aw! And the little dragon likes Melinna!. O tempora! O mores! I hadn’t been aware of its dwarvish origin! Oh, I’m glad it only means ‘sugar’! I was thinking something else. :P *shivers* The Downs are every bit as terrifying as when the hobbits paid a visit. Now, at least, Gogol knows why no one ever said there was treasure there! (Who could have come back to brag about it??) Now, that’s an image that will never leave my brain: Sugar setting a barrow-wight’s arm at Erestor’s feet. Heh, I guess it would be hard for a non-Elf to tell an ellon from an elleth. For all her glamour, Inez is not stupid; she’s obviously intelligent and calculating. Makes me wonder who she really is, with all this about comparing minion orc to dwarves, she’s gotta have some experience under her trendy belt. And she’s so delightfully evil – why, even her hair has evil designs! Her one redeeming quality is her concern to further science. But I enjoy every sentence containing her. I can’t resist quoting a little something - [Dwarves! Oh, they were all so proud of their ancient lore and their forges and their mountain halls and their elaborate social conventions and their road-building (as if there was anything particularly special about that! why, a whip and a couple of hundred Orcs was all anyone needed to build roads across the continent), but give them the simplest of morally ambiguous tasks and look what happened!] Melinna’s awesome under pressure. Yawning in the face of evil! I do think the two ladies are evenly matched. It’s just not a fair fight, I mean, Inez does have dwarf minions. This is one story I for which wouldn’t mind frequent updates… ^_^

Reviewed by: Ignoble Bard -- Score: 10

This story has the most amazingly awesome, fully realized, exquisitely evil villain in the history of fanfiction in Inez. I do hope her so-called evil, but actually perfectly rational and necessary, schemes come to fruition. Why she’s really the best original fanfiction character I can recall reading about in the longest time… Oh, wait, there are other characters in this story too I guess. There’s the obnoxious, thieving urchin who almost gets her just desserts on the barrow downs (and the barrow-wights would have gotten her too if not for that meddling Erestor). There’s that fine upstanding citizen Kat Ferny who long-sufferingly provides for said urchin. There’s Mili the militant dwarf who is a pretty good minion when he’s not screwing something up. And then there’s Melinna. What to say about Melinna… she’s okay I guess. ;-) This is really shaping up to be a great story and Clodia has a real talent for combining humor, suspense, action, even horror with equal ease and aplomb. I look forward to each chapter to see what’s going to happen next and who will end up with that charming little dragon, who is another great character with real personality despite having no lines. I stand in awe of Clodia’s abilities as a writer, though she is modest about them. There are no bad recommendations when it comes to her stories but this one has a personal appeal.

Reviewed by: Windsurfbabe -- Score: 8

There are many things worth mentioning - and complimenting - in Clodia's tale, and the first of them should definitely be the excellent, original writing style: not quite all-knowing narrator with a good sense of humour, that grabs the reader's attention at the very first line and makes one read til' the end. It is the kind of story where one promises to oneself: "just one more chapter!", only to find oneself still reading, bleary-eyed but utterly captivated, at the first hours of dawn. Secondly, the original characters - definitely original, and the great characterization of the more well-known personae such as Erestor. I have to say that adventure-seeking and sword-wielding is not a side of the good ol' counsellor I am used to seeing, but I am enjoying it immensely. And what a wonderful wife he has! Finally, the plot. Unexpected, full of suspense and humourous situations, it promises a development full of surprises and action. This is a story I will be following closely (even at the expense of hours' sleep), and that I would readily recommend.

Reviewed by: crowdaughter -- Score: 6

This story is a lovely and hilarious tongue-in-cheek Mary Sue piece, which means - in the Clodia's expert hands - a lot of dry humor, innuendo, hilarious in-jokes and tie-ins to usual tropes. As a tie-in to her other stories, and featuring her usual protagonists, it is also always teetering on the edge of probability and (so far) stays within the boundaries of what is possible. A fun read that has the reader wishing for the next installment, and soon. The intriguing tale of a mysterious villain, a group of Dwarves and an irritating urchin, running into Melinna and Erestor at a fine day in Bree open to a much greater story when Melinna makes a critical mistake - and finds herself rewarded with an interesting new pet... Highly recommendable! I like!

Reviewed by: Virtuella -- Score: 6

This is the kind of thing that few people would be able to pull off, but Clodia is certainly among those few. Arising, as it did, from a some forum frolicking with [altogether too many people] it has nevertheless managed to weave a coherent story from the various prompts, some of which were rather outrageous. Of course I have to approve of any project that involves Gogol in a story which she cannot control, and Lady Inez would be a fascinating character even without the reader's knowledge of "her" secret identity. The biggest achievement of this story, though, is that in spite of all the nervewracking nonsense, it still seems very thoroughly rooted in Middle-earth. I hope Clodia will add another chapter to this story very soon - and then another, and then another...

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 5

Oh, I am so intrigued by this tale so far, and am impatient for Clodia to get on with it so I can find out what happens next! Who is the Inez whose reported full name is apparently Adunaic, and who can't tell an ellon from an elleth, and who just happens to have a dragon egg in her luggage? And what are Erestor and Melinna going to have to do with her to stop her from as yet unspecified evil? And just where is Radagast when you need him most to get information on how to care properly for a dragonet? And why is her hair apparently interested in eating a Dwarf? I can't wait for these questions and more to be answered in time! Please, Clodia? (I put on my best pleading puppy-dog look!)