Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Osse's Gift

Author: elfscribe
Nominator: Keiliss
2009 Award Category: Genres: Adventure: Elvish Lands - Third Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Medium Length
Rating: Mature -- Reason for Rating: m/m sex scenes
Summary: Glorfindel and Erestor's journey from Umbar to Lindon on a secret mission for Gil-galad is filled with intrigue and suppressed desires.

Reviewed by: Keiliss -- Score: 10

The short version of this review would be as follows: a wonderful second age adventure/romance romp, with well-defined, unpredictable characters, a solid plot and a perfectly wrapped up ending. And I fell in love with Glorfindel the minute I pictured him with bells in his hair. Of course, there’s more, lol. Where to start? The descriptions? I have always been in awe of the way Elfscribe breathes life into her words; the shops, the horse, the ship, the OCs, Glorfindel - oh gods yes, Glorfindel. On another level, I like the little touches that set this in a definitive world and space of its own, things like the ritual and prayer for a safe voyage - exotic yet believable and understated in its presentation, all a part of normal life for all concerned. I don’t think I’ve ever read something where the Valar are treated in quite the same way as in this fic, with references ranging from respect through to casual blasphemy and it resonates for me. it’s a long time since the elves walked the Undying Lands, and this feels right. Was completely taken by things like Glorfindel glowing white fire and showing his serious side and the mystery within a mystery of Erestor's past and the reason for his oath. Osse is a very Greek type of god -- capricious, demanding, possessive, sensual, utterly self-centered. And the description of him is stunning. Poor Erestor...though I can think of far worse ways to spend an interval between life and death. Something else that really stayed with me between (several) readings are the OCs. They receive as much loving attention to detail as the canon characters and add that extra layer of texture to the story. Love the way it all ends, though obviously I can’t say a word here without major spoilers. In some fan fiction that doesn’t matter as much, but in the case of this story, too much information is definitely a no-no (even at this late stage in the contest) People need to read and find it all out for themselves. But --- one thing I have to mention, a line that has cracked me up since the very first time I read this [Dumbfounded, Erestor stared after them. "He never turned me into a dolphin," he said.] Yes, quite. I'd be a bit fed up too.

Reviewed by: pandemonium_213 -- Score: 10

Elfscribe's [Ossė's Gift] is hands down the best Glorfindel/Erestor story I have yet to encounter. But then I am not surprised, given Elfscribe's superb wordsmithing which shines here in plot, characters and setting. Not to mention a lavish helping of creativity. Elfscribe's Glorfindel and Erestor comprise the theme of The Odd Couple in Middle-earth. Elfscribe, through use of manner and observation, gives us Glorfindel as a charming rake with a heart of gold and Erestor as something of a cranky, uptight intellectual who is stuck on board a Nśmenórean ship bound from Umbar to Lindon, escorting a stallion that is a gift from a prince of Umbar to Gil-galad. Such close quarters allow for plenty of irritants to Erestor. They also encounter intrigue aboard ship and a nefarious plot. Then a shipwreck which terrorizes Erestor. Erestor's experience transforms into the Otherworldly when Erestor encounters Ossė, definitely the kind of Maia one can easily imagine fluidly shifting sides from Ulmo to Melkor and back again -- I really liked this a lot. Ossė here is strongly reminiscent of those demi-gods who occupied the capricious and scary Graeco-Roman pantheon. Elfscribe writes the great Maia of the seas with stunning description and character, and we discover why Ossė has a hold on Erestor, and ultimately, what Ossė's gift is. In addition to an intelligent, engaging plot and characterization, Elfscribe also weaves in philosophy, cultural observation and -- as always -- her trademark humor. The dialog is razor-sharp and the supporting cast, as is characteristic of 'Scribe's stories, are just as fascinating and carefully crafted as the protagonists. Really an excellent read, 'Scribe, and for me, yours is now THE Glorfindel/Erestor pairing.

Reviewed by: Oshun -- Score: 10

This story gets off to a rollicking start with a wonderful first chapter. Not only do you give us great descriptions (that early picture you paint of Glorfindel-gone-native in his Haradrim outfit is to die for and then later the description of Erestor getting a look at him in their cabin), but the character development of Glorfindel and Erestor is amazing. It is a unique use of the odd couple trope. Glorfindel is the ultimate irresistible rogue with a huge heart and Erestor such an adorable and attractive curmudgeon. The minor characters are all clearly drawn as well. Your original characters are truly memorable. The visuals are filmic and you really nail their voices with lots of terrific dialogue. One of my favorite lines is "[I have met the Valar and I am not frightened of them]." (Such a great Noldorin comment. I absolutely love it. Go Glorfindel!). It makes me jealous that you are so great at writing plot-rich stories. This one is filled with twists and turns. Of course, I love that you can write a serious story and yet fill it with so much humor and psychological insight. You also provide the reader a thoroughly satisfying ending to a terrific story. I loved the creative use of canon and got a huge kick out of the mystery elements and the mythological references as well. I highly recommend this story. Absolutely fell in love with both of the principal characters.

Reviewed by: Erfan Starled -- Score: 10

["Something terrible, indeed," he said. "I never thought to hear those words from your lips."] What a lovely writer this is! There is warmth, and there is description, and longing. This tale spans many years, but is neatly told mostly in the 'present', and the past is deftly woven into conversation or current thought for the reader to learn (rather than in long flashbacks). The reader gathers all the story clearly. The characters are, frankly, gorgeous; all of them. The story is bold in content, with a Maia drinking elves' blood with a very old God presence. Ossė is earthy (for want of a better word), desirous, and jealous and to me still comes over as awesome. His power and larger than life nature come over, and his appearance in the waves is writing is impressively well done, being a scene all too easy to overdo or to fail to get the atmosphere for. Physical description is one of this writer's strengths and it comes over fully in that passage. The descriptions are endlessly pleasing, and richly provided. [His hair, silvered by the moonlight, blew gently about his face.] I love the way this writer can get words so right, and characters so warm. Also, the writer's dialogue tends to be charming, though I find it hard to find the word I really need to describe it. Charming with undercurrents of heart, tension and feeling is nearer the mark. Another aspect of the story is that there are various personal, intimate relationships happening. This is a gen review for an adult story, but this is a strong part of the tale and very nicely done. Emotions play as full a part as physical sensation in the story and the two elements compliment and balance each other throughout.

Reviewed by: Lissa -- Score: 5

This story (and its accompanying piece, To Ward Winter's Chill) must be some of the best ever written in the genre. The description of the two main characters is excellently done; their fears and worries, their attraction and objections to one another and in general their reasons for acting and reacting like they do, their discussions and provocations - all of it is wonderfully realistic. These characters are multi-facetted and very much alive, and the explanation we finally receive really does explain the conflicting emotions and budding bitterness that plagued one of the protagonists. This story is funny, fascinating and simply excellent - do not miss it!

Reviewed by: Red Lasbelin -- Score: 5

Loved this story! An excellent example of when adventure mixes with romance to greatest effect. Neither side is neglected to tell the story, there's a perfect balance. This story has everything, plot, romance, a huge adventure and also incredible banter. Elfscribe has a skill for absolutely stunning writing, set in lush, exotic locales and two of the most interesting characterizations of Erestor and Glorfindel. For me, in particular, Glorfindel, different and quite gorgeous. Also the connection Erestor shares with Ossė is well done, it works quite well and makes for a compelling twist.