There is a lot of really wonderful writing out there, and this is only a small sample of a few works by authors who I think are extraordinary.

Tolkien Fanfiction

I participated in my first-ever Tolkien slash exchange, and the story written for me is absolutely superb. One of my requests was Tar-Meneldur Elentirmo, the 'Star-Watcher' king of Númenor. She brought his youth to life in her story Lodestone with vivid characterization and a compelling plot. Here is some of what I wrote in my review: You brought the building of the tower to life, an aspect of Tar-Meneldur's life I hadn't even really thought about, and with such vivid detail and characters. Minardil I could see with my inner eye, and their correspondence when separated was such a delicious interlude. This undid me: "The stars do not like it when you are gone. Their luster wanes."
Here is her summary of the story: Relatively young, Írimion (the future Tar-Meneldur) begins work on his tower at Sorontil. He enlists the aid of a stone-mason, Minardil Gonhiriôn, and as they work, a fast friendship develops. Through a series of fits and starts and separations, they come to learn that they care deeply for one another and after Írimion's journey throughout Númenor, he returns and cements their love with a startling revelation of his own.

Lady E
I discovered the story And Whisper You to This Earth thanks to compatriots within Wraeththu fandom who are also Tolkien writers. No matter the fandom, I enjoy reading rarepairs, and I have a keen appreciation for wordplay and sparseness of prose which conveys tremendous amounts… something I don't seem capable of myself, since I'm Queen of Adjectives. You'll not suffer that in this story. Here is a short summary of what I wrote the author: It's such a quiet story, a true murmuring of unforgettable images, of haunted memory, of burnished, whispering stone, of an Elf quite unexpectedly finding himself frayed to the point of sympathy… Then there's your canonical knowledge all undulating with the sussurative whispers of the ages across the barren lands of the Angle whence Halbarad comes, and the burden of age under which Erestor listens -- listens -- and is yet able to cleave himself to someone of a kindred spirit, despite their differences.
Her summary: Halbarad accompanies Erestor on an expedition to the lost city of Fornost, and along the way an unexpected connection develops between the Man and the Elf.
Rating is R, but it's really not very explicit at all. This is bone-melting characterization, from the Elvish and Mannish entities to the lands and memories in which they trod. Truly, a gem. Go, read, and let her know your thoughts.

This Silmarillion-based story - Swimming Against Waves - set a few years after the sacking of Sirion, focuses on an unexpected relationship between Maedhros and Elros. It is beautifully written, with a dreamy, ethereal quality, almost hazy, as when one is at a beach in summer, which is the setting for the tale. Inspired by At Swim, Two Boys, the story captures a unique moment in time in character's lives, an undulating romance infused with briny innocence. Which, of course, comes crashing in on them.

There are far too few well-written stories about Dwarves and their culture for my taste. To my great joy, I came across this short story about Durin, his Awakening, and his unexpected partner and their sons (Durin being the only Dwarf out of the founding fathers who did not have a partner, as you'll no doubt recall. *wink*). Of Durin and Kibil-nâla is a stunning work, full of canon knowledge and written in a deceptively straightforward manner given its mystical "back in the mists of time" quality. This is truly an Arkenstone among gems. Please go read it, and send her a thank you email if you enjoy it.

I had been reading fanfiction for months before running across her works at Henneth-Annun. Once I did, I was hooked. All of her Tolkien fanfiction is elegant, evocative, and written in a beautifully sparse style which is still full of haunting images that will stay with you. Her story A Game of Chess is one of my all-time favorites, and inspired me to write "A House Divided." As you can tell by the multiple reviews, I am not the only one who admires her work.

I discovered that Nessime was writing a long story set in Rohan at the same time that I was working on "Daughters of Oromë," and we became fast friends. Her WIP is still that, but she's written some shorter stories and has a very easy-to-read, yet sophisticated style. Her story Every Good and Perfect Gift is set during the early ages of Númenor, and brings tears to my eyes every time I read it.

I have only read this one story of hers, but I reviewed it at Henneth-Annun and wrote what was my most gushing review ever- and I've done a lot of reviewing. I have a fondness both for Dwarf-centric and obscure-character fics, and this one has both. It's just a brilliant, unique story. Opening Doors was so creative that it inspired me to write "Speak, Friend, and Enter." If you want to read a Tolkien fanfiction story unlike most others, read this!

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