A clear voice cut through the heavy air of the courtroom. “All rise!”
The muffled shuffling of feet and shrill scraping of chairs accompanied Tadgh
as he stood. While the ancient judge shuffled into place, Tadgh took the
opportunity to glance across the sea of faces that stood behind him. Most of
them stared blankly back at him, but some grinned broadly when he locked
eyes with them. The ones that grinned, without exception, sported cheap
badges they had brought from the vendor just outside the door. Emblazoned
across these badges was the phrase “Imprison the Pot.” Pot was short for
Potential, the idealistic name given to people with enhanced abilities. When
they were first discovered people thought they would be the next stage of
Then they realised you had to be born with these abilities. That’s when
Potentials stopped being something to strive for and became something to be
jealous of. And then something to hate.
Nowadays people liked to pretend that Potential were treated fairly. Treated
with respect. The only Potentials that are treated with respect are the ones
who hide there powers. Hide who they are.
“Defendant, please stay standing. All be seated.” The cacophony of sound
once again filled the room.
“Defendant, you have been charged with the destruction of public and
private property and assault. How do you plead?”
Of course the destruction of property comes first.
Tadgh held his head high and answered. “Guilty only of attempting to save
lives” A satisfied murmur ran through the crowd. They had been looking
forward to seeing him suffer.
“Order, order” the judge lazily drawled, banging his gavel. “Due to the
defendants guilty plea, it is not necessary to show any evidence. I shall now
move to sentencing.”
Tadgh felt the heat rise in his cheeks. He wasn’t following the correct
procedure and nobody had even blinked. As the judge lazily read out his
sentence, the anger in his chest grew. “Stay calm, stay calm” He whispered to
“Defendant, do you have something to say?”
“Well, today can’t get any worse” he thought.
“I have a name, Your Honour” He said as blood began to leak from the Judges
“The reason fiction is good is because it’s almost more real than reality…these characters exist in the real world…these storylines exist in the real world.” Dominic MacHale
“The more stuff you read that’s good, the more your work will be influenced by the good stuff… When you’re reading literature you’re activating part of your brain where you’re visualising and creating the scene… It will benefits all of your creative work.“ Shaun O’Connor
Title of the novel: The Hobbit, or there and back again as it is referred to in the world in which it is set.
Author: John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, otherwise known as J.R.R Tolkien. (1892-1973)
Illustrator: J.R.R Tolkien’s own sketches were used in the edition used for reference during the writing of the review.
Publisher: The before mentioned edition of The Hobbit was published by Harper Collins Publishers 2011. The first edition of The Hobbit was published by George Allen & Unwin in the year 1937.
Setting: The story takes place in the western region of the fictional land of Middle Earth, the main locations of the story being Rivendell, the Misty Mountains, the forest of Mirkwood, Lake Town and the Lonely Mountain, where the climax of the novel occurs. Main Characters: The main characters areBilbo Baggins, Gandalf, Elrond and the thirteen dwarves including Thorin Oakenshield, Gollum, The Necromancer, and the dragon Smaug among many other smaller characters.
Plot: The reserved hobbit Bilbo Baggins is dragged out of his comfy home by Gandalf and his troop of thirteen dwarves to participate in the absurd plan to reclaim the Lonely Mountain, filled with gold and once home to the proud dwarves, from the fierce dragon Smaug, who is guarding the treasure.
Their quest leads through the joyful Rivendell, house of Elrond, deep into the orc’s dark and evil underground city, though the harsh and dangerous forest of Mirkwood and finally, to the Lonely Mountain. Will Smaug turn out to be too great an enemy, even with the help of the immensely powerful Gandalf and with bigger enemies rallying their mercenaries, have Bilbo Baggins and the dwarves found themselves in more danger than they bargained for?
My review: As it is not a series of books, Tolkien did well to make his story fulfilling and exciting while keeping it within the three-hundred or so pages that make up the Hobbit. The characters aren’t as fleshed out as in other classic novels but as the world Tolkien creates is so vast and layered, they don’t need to be. The climax of the novel is probably my favourite part of the book. Since I can’t spoil the ending because then there would be no point in you reading the book for yourself, all I will say is, that the ending comes out of nowhere but doesn’t feel like the author was stuck for an ending. Overall I really enjoyed both reading and reviewing the novel.
Things I enjoyed about the book: The world Tolkien creates is so large and dense as mentioned beforehand, it is mesmerising. All the races, the dwarves, hobbits, elves and men and also all of the other creatures, goblins, trolls and dragons add so much diversity and life to the world.
Star review: ****
(The reason I gave this novel 4 stars is that, the story didn’t have a massive build up a book series like The Lord of The Rings had the time to do.)
“Faithless is he who says farewell when the road darkens.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
by Tadhg Shiels
Early morning, waking up,
To the sound of alarm bells,
I got to school feeling good,
Everything was going well.
I arrived in class and most teachers
Were being pretty fair,
I walked around breathing in,
The fresh Hammies air.
I finished all classes the day really flew,
I rest and put down my pen,
I get home and relax a bit,
Just to do it all over again.
Huge thanks to Bandon Books, Bandon Library, Wilton Library, Tory Top Library, Cork County Council Library Service, students and parents for all the book donations. There’s a really great selection. Thank you also to the Principal and the Board of Management for funding the shelving and Barry the caretaker doing a great job.
Short Story by Tadhg Shiels
“Where could he be?” said Sally as she slotted the seatbelt into position. “Well, we’re checking the woods first, because that’s where we last saw him.” responded Sally’s mother. “We can put up the poster you made last night as we’re looking”. Sally had lost her pet dog Buster the day before. She wasn’t happy about it. Buster was a loyal, loving and protective dog, or as Sally described him ‘Dogtastic!’.
The posters they put up were very basic but conveyed the necessary information. They looked around a bit when they arrived, but Sally wanted to put up posters straight away. After some time, it began to get very dark and they had to leave but Sally didn’t want to leave. She wanted to keep looking. Suddenly she heard a rustling in the leaves. “Mom, over there by the purple tree stump!”. Sally’s mother looked confused “there’s no such thing as purple trees”. They drove away but Sally was sure she saw a purple tree.
They told Sally’s dad that they couldn’t find Buster. Sally tried to tell him about the purple tree stump, but he didn’t believe her either. Sally didn’t feel like eating her dry pork chop, bland carrots and dull potatoes. Sally knew she saw a purple tree stump, so as any eight year old should, she took matters into her own hands.
She made sure her parents were asleep before she left. It was twelve o’clock! Sally had only ever been up this late on New Year’s Eve! She had brought a torch and a chocolate wafer bar with her. She walked down the road and shivered in the cold of the night. She started to get a bit hungry and ate the chocolate wafer bar with great speed.
When she arrived at the woods, she wished she had saved her chocolate wafer bar. Sally was very surprised to see Buster just sitting by the same purple tree stump. “Buster come here boy!” but Buster didn’t move an inch. Sally ran right up to Buster, but he ran away from her. “Buster what are you doing?” she shouted as she chased after him. She stumbled over a log and sat on the ground long enough to realise that now all the trees were purple, and the grass was orange. The mushrooms shot up taller than the trees and ground was blue.
She had lost Buster again, but she herself, was also lost. She turned in every direction not seeing the path she came from. Then she heard a growl. Suddenly, a giant creature came from the bushes. It had hair all over its body with sharp claws at the ends of its fingers and toes and it had a huge mouth filled with sharp teeth, but its most captivating feature was its large, beady yellow eyes. Sally stood frozen still with fear. Finally, the monster let out a massive roar. Sally felt unstuck when it roared. Sally ran and ran until she made it home.
At home her mom and dad were waiting outside the front door and Buster was with them. “Mom! Dad!” she shouted as ran up to see them. “Sally!” they both shouted back “where have you been? We’ve been so worried” said her mom. “I was in the woods looking for Buster and saw a monster and I ran and I…and…I” she rushed the sentence out so fast that she barely had time to breath. “How did Buster get back here?”. “We’re not sure, I heard him barking and went to see him, but he was just sitting still in the garden.”
After Sally had told them everything her parents looked very confused. Sally knew they didn’t believe her story. She tried to convince them, but they just told her to go to bed. “Buster will sleep inside tonight Sally, so you don’t need to worry about losing him again”. Buster usually slept in his kennel because Buster seemed to like it more there. When she got to bed, she couldn’t sleep. She felt an urge to stand up out of bed and go to her window. Through the window there was just the bushes that were at the edge of the garden. She starred and then she saw a pair of beady yellow eyes staring back.
How a cover gets created…
Poetry by Alvaro García Calvo
Mientras cae el otono
Envueltos por las hojos dorados
El mundo no acaba en el atardecer,
Y solomente los suenos
Tienen su limite en las cosas
El tiempo nos conduce
Por su laberinto de horas en blanco
Al patio de nvestra casa
Envueltos por la niebla incesante
La nostalgia es vivi sin recorder
De que palabra suimos inventados
(Translated to English by the poet himself)
As Autumn Falls
Shrouded in golden leaves,
The world doesn’t end at sunset
And only dreams
Limit themselves to things
Through a labyrinth of black hours
Time leads us on
As Autumn falls
Over our house, our patio
Shrouded in relentless fog
We wait, we wait.
Nostalgia means to live without
The word we are made of.
Ours is Everlasting
My imperfect words offend the notion.
My feelings unbound, by conscious thought.
The limit of reason, no absolute for my sentiment.
Ideas untarnished by comprehension.
Your semblance grasps my helpless senses.
My heart persuaded by graces refined.
Your eyes evoke a certain wonder,
Of the gems within their depths.
I only give breathless description.
Your presence brings an eager calm.
Your nearness invites time to escape.
Your enlightened mind enlightens mine.
With every word you say,
I hear a melody.
Our youth disapproves of such grand convictions.
Only the blurry face of finite passion.
Yet the ease of feeling you compel,
Assures me of the contrary.
That what we share is without limit.
Ours is everlasting