Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

The Archivist

Author: dancingkatz
Nominator: rhyselle
2009 Award Category: Genres: Drama: Gondor - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Story : Length: Medium Length
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: completed story of 7 chapters Vignettes from the life of Tenerië, Archivist of Minas Tirith and sometime teacher of Faramir. Third and Fourth Age. Faramir & OFC. No romance.


Reviewed by: Fiondil -- Score: 10

Most people prefer to read stories that feature only canon characters as the main characters, and understandably so. Yet, there are a few authors (Larner is one, SurgicalSteel another) who go outside the box and give us stories which features original characters as the main characters of the story. They interact to one degree or another with canon characters but the story focus is on them, rather than the canon characters. Dancingkatz is another such author who dares to write about the other people of Middle-earth. Not the heroes and heroines who populate the legends and histories of the land, but ordinary people in sometimes extraordinary circumstances, going about their normal lives against the backdrop of important events. Dancingkatz’s Tenerie is a delightful charcater and reminds me not a little of some of the older librarians I have met in my time, feisty and very protective of their charges (books) but willing to help anyone who honestly needs it when they are trying to find that one elusive book. Tenerie’s relationship with Faramir over the years is quite delightful and I wish I could have been there learning the fine art of restoring old books right along with him. For anyone who likes to explore how the “other half” lived in Middle-earth, this is a good place to start.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 9

I completely fell in love with this series of vignettes. Dancingkatz has constructed a wonderful character in this (eventually-to-be chief) archivist, and through her, we gain so many insights into Minas Tirith and also into Faramir. I can see him really enjoying a profession like this (even if he never was a true apprentice) and a woman like this. The second vignette really caught my attention in the differences between reading the whole word and reading letter-by-letter. I saw echoes of that training in the way Faramir dealt with the sudden appearance of two hobbits in Ithilien. The big picture dictated what his actions should have been (kill them or take them prisoner) but Faramir went letter-by-letter, leaving nothing out and taking care that no mistakes were made. As for the character of Tenerië, her candor must have been so refreshing from the politics and trappings of Faramir's station, and she could also have easily provided a woman's guidance that the motherless Faramir lacked in his childhood. A wonderful examination of history (both past and present) as well as the characters that shape it and record it.

Reviewed by: rhyselle -- Score: 7

Similar to Surgical Steele's character Serinde from THE KING'S SURGEON, in THE ARCHIVIST, dancingkatz takes an original character and uses her to reflect the events of the War of the Ring through a somewhat different perspective than Professor Tolkien's. Tenerie is an OC, and while the author shares many of Tenerie's skills in real life, Tenerie is not an authorial self insertion, nor a Mary Sue. The events that take place through the course of the tale are also reflected through the interaction between Tenerie and the second son of the Lord Steward. Their relationship as teacher and student leads to Tenerie's presence, in Chapter Five, entitled CHANGING HISTORY, to an event that is alluded to in less than a sentence in the coronation scene. This expansion of a canon event is my favorite of the chapters, and it feels as if this IS the way it must have happened. This is another tale that I go back and re-read over and over. I highly recommend it!

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 5

Being a scribe myself, and fascinated with not only reading the meaning of words, but with the physical beauty of the letters that make up words and the books in which those words reside, I found myself in instant empathy with this OFC. She's irascible and dedicated, and the small unofficial apprentice she takes under her wing appreciates the same things she does. I found the evolution of her friendship with Faramir very heart-warming. The only thing is that I found it too short-- I would definitely like to have seen more of the intervening years between beginning and the end of the story.

Reviewed by: obsidianj -- Score: 3

This is a delightful story about the OC Tenerie. I like the way the character is portrayed. This story highlights little episodes of her life that shed light on her character. Her interaction with Faramir is great. She has the right way with him.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 3

I love reading Danzingkatz's depictions of Tamarie. Almost as acerbic as Surgical Steel's Serinde, Tamarie is as dedicated to the health and continuity of Gondor's history as Serinde is of it's citizens' physical integrity; and these vignettes seeing her interactions with Faramir, from child to Prince of Ithilien, are truly a delight.

Reviewed by: Elena Tiriel -- Score: 3

I really enjoyed reading this... Dancingkatz's puts wonderful detail into the story, and the original characters are well-drawn, and the story progression is interesting. Good work!