Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Murder The Dawn

Author: crowdaughter
Nominator: Lethe
2008 Award Category: Genres: Alternate Universe: Incomplete - First Place

Story Type: Incomplete : Length: Medium Length
Rating: Mature -- Reason for Rating: This story contains slash, elements of horror and mature themes such as slavery, non-con, implied torture and rape, and violence. It is a very grim alternative universe with very disturbing themes; a spin-off to my Mael-Gul story universe, which is rated strictly adult. This story, however, would count as hard R.
Summary: The story is currently eight chapters long (a prologue and seven short chapters). It will have at least one more chapter until it is completed. Completely AU. Legolas slavefic. Mirkwood is a subjected realm and must give hostages to the other Elven realms as slaves. Legolas is the slave of Aragorn, who is a sadist. But what if Legolas indeed took the Ring? Warnings: slash, character death! This story is a very grim spin-off to my Mael-Gul story universe, which is rated strictly adult. This story, however, would count as hard R.


Reviewed by: Lethe -- Score: 10

This story is a spin off of the authors main work Mael-Gul. That work, which I am perusing at the moment, is very definitely adult. It is a dark AU in which the Elves of Mirkwood are a subject people to Imladris, whose lord, Elrond, is cruel, even tyrannical, due perhaps in part to the unforeseen power of Vilya and also Sauron. It may seem it would be impossible to suspend disbelief for one moment to believe in a wicked Elrond and a sadistic Aragorn, but the author writes so skilfully, that in fact it is no effort at all. While that story must be rated adult, this shorter one is an M and is an AU of events told in Mael-Gul, although if one reads the summary and background it stands alone. The Mael-Gul AU is extremely dark and this AU is set within that but with events taking a different turn to those in the original. It deals with thought and memories of slavery, torture and non-con, but is specifically focused on the emotions of the character and his fate, which is a race against time for him. This, the author deals with superlatively as she did in Mael-Gul, I cannot even think of a published book that has written of the psychological affect of slavery and abuse and twisted love and it's long terms affects in such a manner as to make it readable, not merely horrific or depressing. It evokes sorrow, horror and anger in me to the extent that I have fired off comments to her story saying I wish to see Elrond and Aragorn impaled and die in agony. It has touched me that deeply. But it does not only cause me fury, it puts me firmly in the camp of the victim, Legolas. When stories like this are written, I think it should be with a great deal of understanding and empathy, not to shock, or to glorify such subjects as rape and both physical and psychological abuse. Neither Murder the Dawn, nor the original, Mael-Gul do this, they both explore the devastating effects upon a subjugated person who is bound unwillingly and yet loves the one who maltreats him; it is, I think, a version of the Stockholm Syndrome and only in this and one other Adult rated series have I seen it dealt with so sympathetically and deftly. Both as a stand alone and a companion piece to Mael-Gul this story possesses all the dark passion, drama and roller coaster readability that the author weaves into all her writing.

Reviewed by: Jael -- Score: 10

What can I say about this story? The parent story to this AU dark tale, Mael-gul, was one of the most affecting stories I have ever read. It got into my mind and has stayed there for two years. Warning: This is not a feel-good story. However, it does make the reader feel, and feel deeply. Something has gone terribly wrong, and otherwise good and noble characters are pushed into actions that in any other story would be horrible out of character. Here, they make chillingly logical sense. There are times in the parent story that the reader, affected horribly by Legolas's dire situation, wants to scream, "Fight, Legolas -- fight back. They have no right to do this to you!" In Murder the Dawn, Legolas fights back, doing the unthinkable to bring both salvation and doom upon his people. We know it cannot end well, yet, despite all, we cheer Legolas on as he races to complete his mission -- at a horrible cost to himself both physically and spiritually. In the most recent chapter of this work in progress, Thranduil exacts his retribution upon the tormentors of himself, his family, and his people. It is predictably harsh, yet, again, we forgive him. This story is the opposite of exploitive -- it tells us what people will do when driven beyond the breaking point. As sad as the ending of this story must inevitably be, I look forward to seeing how this tragedy will play out.

Reviewed by: Ignoble Bard -- Score: 5

As heartrending as is [Mael-Gul] Crowdaughter's other dark AU, this story is, perhaps, even more emotional. Legolas is the victim of a spell, one of almost unimaginable cruelty and must fight the evil the only way left to him. Crowdaughter creates a dark vision that, though AU, feels authentic and utterly believeable. It's a shame she is unable to update more often as her stories are always riveting, keeping us all on pins and needles as we anticipate and wonder how the events will eventually play out. I look forward to the completion of her two epic WIP's.

Reviewed by: Claudia -- Score: 4

whew, holy crap this was a dark one! That first chapter was incredibly chilling, from the killing of every member of the fellowship. His cold calculations that he needed to kill every one of them, even his lover and the innocent hobbits. And the vision of Elrond's library burning. For some reason that one has stayed with me. What a chilling alternative universe!

Reviewed by: Nieriel Raina -- Score: 3

A dark, bitter and emotionally gripping tale. An AU story of magnificent and chilling proportions. Aislynn writes with vivid detail and moving description of the final revenge for a family long tortured and wronged. Aislynn, it was nice to see Elrond get what was coming to him. Well done!