Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

A Creature Of Fire

Author: daw the minstrel
Nominator: Jay of Lasgalen
2006 Award Category: Races: Elves: Featuring Mirkwood Elves - First Place

Story Type: Other Fiction : Length: Novel
Rating: PG -- Reason for Rating: Violence
Summary: Set in the year 2770 TA, this story follows Legolas through adventures both personal and canonical. Those who recognize the date from "The Tale of Years" will know that a creature of fire is about to descend on Dale.


Reviewed by: dkpalaska -- Score: 10

This is definitely my favorite of Daw's stories entered in this year's MEFAs, and perhaps even of the dozen or so I've been able to read so far. It is powerful and telling, and covers a huge emotional range. Legolas' character and perspectives are at turns thoughtful, entertaining and heart-rending. Daw has made him into such an exceptional and beloved individual for me, shaping many facets for the Elf who will one day join the Fellowship. Legolas' relationship with Beliond in particular continues to be a complete delight. His inability to deal with Galelas, as well as not understanding the connection Eilian feels with G., are realistic flaws that only make him more alive for me. His fragile romance with Tuilinn was marvelous and beautifully portrayed. The tension of the dragon's attack was handled extremely well - I was on the edge of my seat. But what a crushing blow dealt to Legolas... I was just devastated by Tuilinn's death. Legolas' grieving felt like my own, it was handled with such grace and understanding, and I cried several times as we followed him through the start of the process. His family, friends and keeper's love and their desire to help him were realistic and touching, but as always, Thranduil steals the show. The sudden, final memory of his laughing mother was a tremendous gift, and ended the story on the perfect note of reborn joy. This story added an even greater weight and poignancy to Legolas' eventually sailing west - now with perhaps the hope that Tuilinn has been released from Mandos' halls to greet him. Do please, please someday write of their reunion, Daw!

Reviewed by: nau_tika -- Score: 10

This story is one of the hardest of daw's for me to read, but it is extremely well written. It's wonderful that Legolas and his almost-lost love find each other again and the way Beliond protects their privacy is very touching. Of course, Beliond plays a very special role in this fic and we see him in a slightly gentler yet authorativie in ways we have not see before. The interaction between he and Sinnarn's keeper, though brief, was also insightful. Sinnarn's sharing with Eilien that this was something that should be taken seriously and the moment he calls Legolas uncle show his maturity. Something we have sometimes despaired of seeing and I mean that in a good way. The trip to Dale, Beliond not liking to tell Legolas that he doesnt know something when Legolas asks, the way they interact with the people of Dale and with each other are all wonderul. The time when Beliond is unable to reach Legolas is almost funny in an awful way. It does give some balance to the horror of finding Tuilinn dead. Legolas having Eilien's support came as a relief. The time in Tuilinn's village when her parent's tell him he made her last days joyful ones, the actual ceremony where he is included with the family and places the ring on her body are all new views of elfdom and well done. Meeting Thranduil and how they relate to each other. I still crave the scene with Eilien arriving home with the news. I have played it in my mind several times and maybe daw did us a favor by not telling us, but still I yearn for that fill in the blanks scene. I also appreciate the moments between Legolas and his former rival, Galelas and the growing maturity there. I am sure Eilien welcomes it. I also noted that Thranduils daughters in law both had set roles and had Tuilinn married Legolas the fact she was going to be a healer would have given her a place of her own in the palace. I am still undecided if I wish he'd wed or not, but this was a sad and marvelous story. I try not to re-read it too often because it depresses me. That's a good writer!

Reviewed by: Bodkin -- Score: 10

This is such an emotional roller-coaster of a story. Legolas is so happy - and then plunged into such despair. And are there any people as well qualified as Beliond and Thranduil to understand his pain and help him to deal with it? Probably not. Is there any part of the story that is less than excellent? Answer: no. Legolas's grief - his inability to speak and eat, his reluctance to be with people who are happy, his inertia, and so on are just so accurate. The anxiety of his family - all hanging there and not quite sure what to do except feed and talk to him, yet all unconsciously increasing his feelings of loss and abandonment. And Thranduil is just brilliant. I only wish he had had someone comparable to him to lean on when Lorellin died. He coped by being needed - by realm and sons - and by being angry, but a shoulder would have been a bonus. Beliond - what a star. I loved the way he provided the ring for Legolas to use - the way he took him home - the way stalked into the palace and carried Legolas off to the forest. He has a real understanding of the elf under his care. And then, Annael's care is what he needs, too. Undemanding. Annael has always been good at being the kind of friend who gives what Legolas needs, rather than demanding. And it was good for Legolas to see Elowen and Galelas and Naran's parents. But the best moment of all, I think, was Legolas's recovered memory of his naneth. I hope that, now he has found a trail into the big black hole, he will be able to find a little more of her in there. I love these characters. And this is such a good story. So well written. So skilled. It must have been hard to do - but it was worth it!

Reviewed by: Perelleth -- Score: 10

This tale was an emotional roller coaster. we not only get to see LEgolas falling in love and losing her almost at the same time, but also the terrible canon moment of Smaug's descent into Laketown and Erebor, and the ensuing catastrophic effects, and the tension of having LEgolas trapped under the ruins of a house, with his corpse bride and Galelas, of all people, to the long trek to Tuilinn's settlement, the opression of the burial and the heavy weight of mourning such a loss, not a relative, not a long time friend but the other part of his soul, lost and found in such a short space of time. The description of the mess caused by the dragon is perfect, to me, and I remember that I was most shocked particularly by the sight of the burnt, bereft dwarves lost in the middle of the forest and fleeing their home. I found that detail very poignant. There is much Beliond here, and much growing for LEgolas, as he slowly comes out from the cloud of grief to see his world changed in his own perception, for now he has a greater measure of understanding towards those around him who have experienced worse losses than his: Thranduil, Beliond, Annaelīs naneth... I particularly loved how he acknowledges the steady, loving presence of Alfirin in his life. And there is the side arc of the relationship between Galelas and Legolas, and Galelas and Eilian, which is very interesting. This is a powerful tale, Daw, I'd say one of your best, (although I have trouble choosing)

Reviewed by: elliska -- Score: 6

Wow, this story is powerful. It may very well be my favorite of all of your stories. I was so excited in the beginning of the story when the maiden from Spring Awakenings showed up. I thought you did an incredible job with their conversation when they spoke. I so wanted them together. But, the title of the story gave little hope of that. I was amazed at how incredibly powerfully you showed the grief of her death and Legolas's reaction to it. The ending, with Legolas in the villiage for the funeral, and what Beliond gave him--perfect. And even more perfect, the fact that Thranduil came to find him. This story made me cry when I first read it and when I reread it for this review (and I'm at work, thank you very much). ;-) Incredible job, daw!

Reviewed by: Imhiriel -- Score: 4

Fascinating picture of the Greenwood, its inhabitants and their society and everyday life. Vivid, well-described details, good pacing, good characterisations, in particular of the original characters. I find Legolas' complicated relationship towards Galelas especially well-handled, as well as the budding romance with Tuilinn. Her death came as a terrible shock, and his grief was wonderfully presented in its various aspects and stages (it had me in tears more than once). I also very much enjoyed Eilian's letters.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 4

Engrossing tale of love, danger and death in Mirkwood and Erebor. Excellent extrapolation of Wood-elven customs and inter-relations. The family and friends of Legolas, who Tolkien left in a vacuum except for his connection to Thranduil, are well-written, with individual personalities and issues. Of course, I found the most thrilling part to be Smaug's coming to the Lonely Mountain, and the horror he unleashed for the first time - written with great dramatic impact. Good characterisation of various dwarves as well.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 3

An enthralling story, as we see the onslaught of Smaug upon Erebor from the POV of the Mirkwood Elves. The suspense and danger of the story are ratcheted up by Legolas' budding romance with an Elven lass who dwells in the danger zone. Exciting and angsty by turns, it brings to life an event that gets only short mention in canon.

Reviewed by: Marigold -- Score: 3

This well written story has something for everyone no matter what their genre of preference. The characters and descriptions are very well done and I particularly like the the description of the devestation of Smaug. A very impressive work!