Compiled by the Espresso Addict

Espresso Recommendations

Innovative and stylish fanfiction, showcasing the very best across multiple sf, fantasy & literature fandoms. Good writing in all its forms can be found here, including gen, het, slash, OCs, AUs, crossovers, future fics, humour & pastiche

Contents: 912 recs in 209 fandoms; 64 links

Lord of the Rings

Original character

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Back to the Beginning by Adina

'He searched but could not find. For twice the lifespan of a man in these diminished days he searched for the one he had lost. Never had it taken so long; always before he had found his love within a hundred years.' This Fourth Age Legolas/Gimli story runs with a highly unusual premise to its poignant ending, and features an interesting version of the much older Elf. Well worth a read despite a scattering of typos

[Added 20/01/2012; Drama; 6000-20,000; Lord of the Rings; Characters: Legolas, Gimli, OCs]

Box of Rain by Alon

Faramir finishes some business for his brother. Delicate and believable characterisations, both of those present and those absent. Sequel to Closer to Fine and To Look at You, but works equally well read independently

[Added 09/09/2003; Romance/Erotica; 6000-20,000; Lord of the Rings; Characters: Faramir, OC, Boromir]

Discretion, Discovery by Isabeau of Greenlea

All Isabeau's works showcase her great gift for detail, dialogue and characterisation; 'Discretion' & 'Discovery' also feature hot sex and an unusual & deftly drawn OC. The saga of Boromir's love life continues in the 'Best-loved Son' series by Isabeau, Dwimordene & Altariel, while Andrahar's background is more fully expored in Isabeau's unfinished 'Kin-strife'; both can be accessed via the author's website

[Added 24/06/2004; Romance/Erotica; 20,000-50,000; Lord of the Rings; Characters: Boromir, OC, Faramir, Imrahil, Denethor; Adult]

The Face of the Enemy by Soledad

The very thoughtful & detailed evocation of the Haradric culture distinguishes this retelling of the Battle of Pelennor Fields. Cameo by Andrahar from Isabeau's Discretion & Discovery

[Added 25/06/2004; Drama; 6000-20,000; Lord of the Rings; Characters: Imrahil, Faramir, Gandalf, Théoden, Eowyn, Witch-King of Angmar, OCs]

Giving Gifts by Dwimordene

An outstanding evocation of the Haradric culture, featuring an original character who flickers into life in this all-too-brief tale

[Added 25/06/2004; Drama; 1000-2500; Lord of the Rings; Characters: OCs]

Goes a Courtin' by Chris

A dwarven love story. A vignette as clever as it is brief

[Added 16/12/2003; Drama; <1000; Lord of the Rings; Characters: OC]

In the Hands of the Enemy by Meckinock

Set around Bree before the events of LotR, this rollicking adventure never takes itself too seriously. Believable characterisations, with some well-drawn original characters that won't have anyone calling in the Mary-Sue Exterminators

[Added 16/12/2003; Drama; >50,000; Lord of the Rings; Characters: Aragorn, Gandalf, Halbarad, OCs]

The Jewel in the Crown by Alawa

'I don't hold with embalming much myself.' In-frame humour seems rather rare in JRRT fan-writing, so this was a welcome giggle. Nicely characterised OC in no danger of Mary-Suedom

[Added 18/10/2002; Humour; 1000-2500; Lord of the Rings; Characters: OC]

Keepers of the Hearth by Alawa

A quiet piece that reclaims Middle-earth for the ordinary woman, and celebrates the things that the War of the Ring was fought to preserve

[Added 25/06/2004; Character Piece; 6000-20,000; Lord of the Rings; Characters: Eomer, Eowyn, Lothíriel, OC]

Magda's Tale by Meg Thornton

Multi-cultural society in Bree through the eyes of a plausible and interesting OC (technically a WiP, but the chapters stand alone as a vignette series)

[Added 18/10/2002; Drama; 6000-20,000; Lord of the Rings; Characters: OC, Aragorn, Barliman Butterbur, Bill Ferny, Halbarad, Bilbo Baggins, Minor]

Magnetic Force by Marnie

A reporter on the Fortean Times finds more than she expects when she travels to Cornwall on an investigation. Before I read this story, I didn't believe this premise could ever be made to work, but I'm very glad to have been proved wrong!

[Added 16/12/2003; Drama; 2500-6000; Lord of the Rings; Characters: Celeborn, Elladan, Elrohir, OC]

Not From Mountain Nor From Sea by Gil Shalos

A subtle look at different aspects of Boromir's character in this skilfully written piece

[Added 09/09/2003; Drama; 6000-20,000; Lord of the Rings; Characters: Boromir, Faramir, Aragorn, Meriadoc Brandybuck, OC]

Observation and dissection of the Common Wood-elf (Telerius galadh) by Bryn

Humour and tragedy as modern earth meets Middle-earth. There are also a couple of sequels, Notes from the Field and Regeneration and Immortality

[Added 16/04/2003; Humour; 1000-2500; Lord of the Rings; Characters: OCs]

On Gorgoroth Plain by Teasel

Many authors have tackled the subject of Frodo and Sam's journey through Mordor, but Teasel breathes fresh life into the subject. This gem of a story works beautifully on so many levels -- I cannot recommend it as highly as it deserves

[Added 09/09/2003; Drama; 1000-2500; Lord of the Rings; Characters: Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee, OC]

River-Mother and River-Daughter by Zdenka

'For the most part, the rivers were content to sing, to reflect the world around them, and to seek the great sea in a slow winding course. But in a shadowy glade green with moss and great ferns – though there were no flowers yet – a young streamlet more curious than the others splashed out of her bed and tried to follow her.' An origin story for Goldberry. Unusual & memorable, with a perfect ending

[Added 16/04/2015; Character Piece; 2500-6000; Lord of the Rings; Characters: Goldberry, Melian, Tom Bombadil, OCs]

The Rooster Man of Gondor by Chelsea Nolen

A highly unusual view of a key moment in the siege of Minas Tirith

[Added 20/02/2003; Drama; 1000-2500; Lord of the Rings; Characters: OC]

Shards of Time by AL Milton

Was Eowyn a heroine or deserter? This nicely structured story features interesting original characters, as Eowyn's grandson weighs the evidence

[Added 20/02/2003; Drama; 6000-20,000; Lord of the Rings; Characters: Eowyn, Faramir, OCs]

Stardust by RiikiTikiTavi

The pitfalls of being a war widow. Well worth reading for its exploration of Gondor high society, though the Legomance plot didn't entirely work for me

[Added 18/10/2002; Romance/Erotica; 20,000-50,000; Lord of the Rings; Characters: OC, Legolas, Gimli, Aragorn, Elladan, Elrohir, Faramir, Meriadoc Brandybuck, Eomer, Minor]

The Strange Case of the House at Hollinport by Russ

'There are older and fouler things than orcs in the deep places of the world.' A highly unusual Fourth Age tale, in the style of Lovecraft or Poe. Strongly recommended

[Added 24/06/2004; Drama; 6000-20,000; Lord of the Rings; Characters: Morgoth, OCs]

Tell this Mortal by Chathol-linn

'He needs to make this sea voyage, and to not make it.' An engaging narrative voice & a memorable OC draw the reader into this Fourth Age tale. The backstory is a little weak, perhaps, but the frame story makes up for it

[Added 11/12/2006; Drama; 6000-20,000; Lord of the Rings; Characters: Legolas, Gimli, OC]

Where the Stars Are Strange by Marta

'She prays for a quick death. She prays for the beasts to come before nightfall, to rip at her throat so she will never feel the pangs of thirst.' Thoughtful drabble series exploring Haradric beliefs. There's also a prequel, Turtles All the Way Down, though I felt it was stronger alone

[Added 05/09/2012; Drama; <1000; Lord of the Rings; Characters: Aragorn, OC]

Who Knackered Aragorn's Catamite? by Earthspot

Tolkien meets Raymond Chandler meets James Bond in this witty and inventive romp through Fourth Age Middle-earth. WKAC features a large cast of engaging original characters, plus delightful cameos from many of the major players. The author assures us that no canon was injured in the production of this fanfiction

[Added 09/09/2003; Drama; >50,000; Lord of the Rings; Characters: Aragorn, Arwen, Eowyn, Faramir, Goldberry, Gimli, Legolas, Bergil, Grishnakh, OCs; Adult]