Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Smoke And Fire

Author: Anso the Hobbit
Nominator: Marigold
2005 Award Category: Genres: Drama (includes Angst): War of the Ring

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: PG -- Reason for Rating: For descriptions of battle
Summary: As the Rohirrim charge Merry sees Minas Tirith burning and besieged, and suddenly realises that Pippin is inside the City.


Reviewed by: Marigold -- Score: 8

This story is skilfully written from an interesting pov and it is written so that the scene unfolds at a fast pace, as battle, by necessity, truly is. The descriptions are great and so is Merry’s characterisation. There is such imperativeness - Merry is borne from kill to kill while at the same time just barely avoiding death himself and we can see it all playing out perfectly. I love that what motivates Merry in the first part of the story is a desperation to help Pippin. He doesn’t seek glory, his valour is all in hopes of contributing to Pippin’s deliverance. Then we see Merry’s realisation that Pippin might be able to cope on his own, without Merry, that Pippin could manage if he must. This understanding releases Merry in a way, freeing him to do his part to slay the Witch-King. The filmverse ending is perfect for this story, as it comes full circle from Merry taking responsibility for Pippin’s safety and rescue, to Merry knowing that he will be cared for and kept safe by Pippin. Well written, and in a difficult to pull off style.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 5

This story is so filled with urgency; we are inside Merry's head, as he desperately fights to find his way to his cousin, trapped in the burning City of Men. The way his fear and anguish are described, each encounter in battle, all contribute to the suspense, and the feeling of despair. The author actually makes me forget for a few seconds that we know all ends well. It is a very skillful blend of book verse and movie verse, and the insight into Merry's thoughts and character are a highlight of this writer.