Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Up From The Ashes

Author: Elanor Gardner
Nominator: Inkling
2006 Award Category: Races: Hobbits: Post-Sauron's Fall

Story Type: Other Fiction : Length: Short Story
Rating: PG -- Reason for Rating: Remembered violence
Summary: Pippin takes Frodo on a revealing stroll through Minas Tirith.

Reviewed by: annmarwalk -- Score: 8

First of all, your descriptive skills are extraordinary – I felt as though I were right there with Frodo and Pippin, feeling the warm sun on my back, tasting the baklava-like pastries, laughing at the girl chasing her hen down the cobbled lane. Children playing noisily, laundry hanging from upper stories of narrow houses, the scent of delicious, spicy food wafting out open windows – what a feast for the senses! In a way, your wonderful story is like the story itself – just as Frodo and Pip wander the city, seeing beauty at every turn, at each twist in your tale there’s another gorgeous detail. The old woman sweeping the floor with herbs and salt, to both banish evil and ensure a beautiful scent, and the image of the ashes being carefully collected and used to enrich the gardens of the city were particularly vivid. Your depiction of the heartwarming ceremony of the re-opening of the bookshop, symbolizing to Frodo and Pip the rebirth of the city, made me laugh with delight. Thank you so much for such a lovely, uplifting story.

Reviewed by: Inkling -- Score: 7

Laughter is the best medicine, they say, and who better to administer it to Frodo than the irrepressible Pippin? His character is very well drawn, not too silly or childish, but with his trademark cheek very much in evidence. I loved the way he chastises Frodo for his reckless behavior! Elanor’s descriptions are marvelous...the clothes hanging on the lines, the people in the doorways, and all the other small, vivid details made me feel like I was walking the streets of Minas Tirith right along with Frodo and Pippin. Some may question the relevance and suitability of fantasy literature for adult readers, but I strongly believe that its lessons are timeless...one of the things that strikes me over and over about Tolkien's work is how uncannily applicable it is to contemporary events and crises. This story, dedicated to the survivors of Hurricane Katrina, is a superb demonstration of this principle.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 5

This story is very close to my heart. As one who lived through Hurricane Katrina, the dedication of this story of renewal and rebirth and rebuilding means a lot to me. Yet even beyond the theme, this is a wonderfully crafted story. Pippin is so very wise in this, in his own intuitive way knowing just what Frodo needs to help him see just how the White City can recover from devestation, and how he can help as well. There is not a single wasted word, as she builds the story from Pippin's own pains and aches to his efforts at relieving Frodo, and on to the need of spreading it forth to the City. This story just moves me to tears.

Reviewed by: Marigold -- Score: 3

Pippin helps Frodo to find healing for his soul by showing him that the people of the City of Minas Tirith are rebuilding their own lives. There are rich descriptions here, and a lot of love. Very good story!