Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

In This These Days of Glory

Author: Dana
Nominator: Dreamflower
2008 Award Category: Races: Hobbits: Incomplete

Story Type: Incomplete : Length: Short Story
Rating: Teen -- Reason for Rating: There will be some violence and more mature themes, though nothing is intended to be graphic.
Summary: I hope for this to reach 16 chapters. The Tookland during the time the Travellers were away.


Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 10

I have really been anticipating this story from Dana for quite a while. And even though it is only just begun, I really do see all of the promise of a great story there. Dana is one of the few hobbit writers who has a sure and deft hand with the period of time during which Our Heroes were gone on their perilous Quest. The Occupation of the Shire, or The Troubles as it is sometimes called, has been the setting for many of her stories, set in what she calls her [“Sunless Year”] universe. We have seen various minor characters and original characters dealing with the privation and cruelty laid on them by Lotho’s betrayal, the Ruffian’s brutality, and Saruman’s revenge. But this story will tie together many of those threads, as she deals with the way the Tooks and the Tooklands, coped. How did Paladin keep the Men out? What did Pippin's parents and sister do while he was gone? And what of his many Tookish cousins? Already we see the way that Pippin’s leaving affects his family: Pervinca suspects something’s up as he prepares to go off and help Frodo with the move. And then we see the reaction of the Tooks when they learn of Pippin’s disappearance along with Frodo, Merry and Sam. I really look forward to seeing the continuation of this story and am hoping that she will soon resume her work on it.

Reviewed by: annmarwalk -- Score: 10

This is a very moving story. As a parent, I've always wondered how Merry and Pippin's family reacted to their disappearing off the face of the earth. It was difficult enough in the movie - it must have seemed as though the ground swallowed them up in the very act of innocent mischief-making - but in the book, we had a much more terrifying tale in the attack on the house at Crickhollow, the horrific Black Riders, and Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin's disappearance. I really love the plausibility of the sequence of events that you've presented, starting with, "Oh, Pippin's with Merry, so it can't be so bad" and progressing with growing unease to "That's odd, that's all of them are gone", and finally, when Pip's letter is discovered, and news of the attack reaches his loved ones, the mobilization of friends and family in search of answers. I particularly like Pervinca's strength, her sense of being her brother's soulmate and companion. I confess I've not been much of a hobbit reader, my heart having been firmly ensnared by the men of Rohan and Gondor, but I love this characterization of the hobbit lasses as just as strong and high-hearted as the hobbits, and all of them being just as fierce in their defense of their home as any Men or Elves. There seems to be just a thin veneer of ladylike manners to Vinca, something she can toss on and off like an overdress, that's very appealing. So much more to her than meets the eye! What I found particularly meaningful in the Prologue (the part that almost made me cry) was the sense of letting Pippin go; letting him go out into the world, as full of peril as it is, because that is what parents and children must both do. That's a hallmark of great writing, I think, to demonstrate the universality of hope and fear, love and joy and pain. Sharing Vinca and Paladin's fear has eased mine, just a bit, knowing that we've all been there together.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 5

Having done my version of this time from the Brandybuck perspective, it was wonderful to see it from the Took side of the equation. The lads have disappeared from the Crickhollow house, leaving a secretive Fatty Bolger behind. Was it bandits, or did Lotho have something to do with the disappearance of Frodo Baggins and his cousins and gardener? Notes were left that weren't particularly informative; more is learned from what Freddy shared with Berilac. But to find out WHY he chose to share with Merimac's son was thought-provoking! Very intriguing to see how so much of this is from Pervinca's point of view. Now, to see more of it written! (Nudge, nudge.)