Breaker of Horses by Sineala (PG-13)

  • Sep. 11th, 2015 at 3:45 PM
Title: Breaker of Horses
Fandom: Marvel comics (616, main continuity)
Pairing: Steve Rogers/Tony Stark
Categories: slave fic, AU, drama, romance, angst
Length: Epic [47943 words]
Warnings: interspecies romance between human and centaur

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] sineala
Author Website: Sineala's AO3

Review:
Author’s Summary: What do you do when the Roman Empire you were raised to love consigns you to the sands of the arena? Antonius is a prince of the Dacians, captured in war and sold as a gladiator. He yearns for his freedom. Stephanos -- the last living centaur -- is his fellow slave and trainer. Centuries old, disillusioned by a Rome that has become a shadow of itself, Stephanos has all but given up on life... until he meets Antonius, and both of their lives are forever changed.


This is an amazing story that was written for this year’s Reverse Bang over at the [livejournal.com profile] cap_ironman community and was inspired by some amazing artwork of gladiator!Tony and centaur!Steve. I might preface this with the fact that I’m not usually good with AU’s that radically change the setting like this, but this fic totally won me over and intrigued me from the get go. It’s hard to write a setting like this convincingly and at the same time keep this characters who they are and [livejournal.com profile] sineala does justice to both. She puts so many awesome details about Roman culture in there and then manages to sneak in the comic references right in on top of that. I think my favorite thing how Stephanos’ story parallels Steve’s super soldier history.

It’s a wonderful adventure story with some nice action and fight scenes (and it’s obvious how much research about gladiators went into those), but even more than this it’s the story of “Antonius”, who very much still is Tony at the heart of it, from privileged childhood to the pit of the arena and his fight against having his freedom and dignity taken from him, making friends (which involves meeting "Avengers" in gladiator guise) and who doesn't give in to circumstances. The romance is a delicious and wonderful cherry on top. The emotional scenes are vibrant and hit me right where it hurt sometimes and the character arcs that unfold in the story alone are making this a worthy read. The angsty themes are running high with this one, which with the themes of slavery and fights to the death in the arena isn’t surprising. But there are also quieter scenes of friendship and blossoming, uncertain romance to balance that out.

And above all it’s just so well written.

As the author points out the fic contains no centaur/human sex, so this doesn’t need a right out bestiality warning. There is the interspecies romance and kissing, though, that not everyone might enjoy. Those who are here for the xenoromance though might be glad to know that the relationship is consummated in a NC-17 sequel fic.

Breaker of Horses
Title: Bend All Your Notes for Me
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
Genres: AU, Fuck or die, Romance, Drama, Slavery
Length: Long (15,793 words)
Warnings: Dub-con (fuck or die), period accurate homophobia

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] littlesleepfic
Author Website: halfhardtorock @ AO3

Author's Summary:
From the Kinkmeme prompt:

Merlin is given to Arthur as a pleasure slave (or somehow makes his way unwillingly? into Arthur's possession). He has been enchanted (cursed?) so that he must have Arthur's (or whoever owns him) seed within him at a regular basis or he will start to get sick and eventually die.

They start off disliking each other, and with Merlin resenting and fighting the situation, but somehow they end up falling in love with each other (and eventually breaking the spell?).

A d/s relationship would be preferred and bonus bonus points for collared merlin! I definitely would prefer, despite the situation strong Merlin though and hope for (eventual) BAMF Merlin.

Review:
Merlin, living under the rule of a foreign prince, is given to Arthur as a prize after a victory. Being stuck with a servant he didn't want is bad enough, and then he finds out that Merlin is bespelled. It's a fuck or die situation, where Arthur must have sex with Merlin despite his conflicted feelings about his sexuality and his moral outrage. This could easily have turned into an extremely dark and angsty fic, but Merlin and Arthur's growing regard for each other and Arthur's efforts to be as kind as possible during the situation keep it from going down that road. It's a scorching hot slow burn, with well-written sex scenes that are some of the most sensual I've ever read.

Bend All Your Notes for Me
Title: Daughter of Samland, Son of Denmark
Fandom: Hunger Games
Pairing: Katniss/Peeta
Genres: AU, Drama, Romance, Family, Slavery, Hurt/Comfort
Length: Super!Epic (152,459 words)
Warnings: Gore, torture/corporal punishment

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] manniness
Author Website: Manniness @ AO3

Author's Summary:
We’ve prepared as best we could, but as I turn the corner on the muddy path through the village hugging the walls of my father’s fortress, I know we aren’t ready. We would never be ready.

The Northmen have come.

Review:
Katniss, heir to the throne of the kingdom of Samland, is captured by Vikings and sold as a slave to Viking!Peeta. The rest of the fic is a very slow building romance between the two, with the second half having a bit of political intrigue thrown in. I look upon Viking fics with feelings of glee and trepidation. Even though the Vikings were most probably first rate dickheads, they seem to be a popular subject with just about everyone, me included. But I know that Viking fics bring the angst.

Saying that, let me contradict myself and present you with this - an angst free Viking fic. Yes, even though this fic contains Vikings, slavery, and war, there is somehow no angst. There's no real evidence of the immoral shenanigans you would expect Vikings to be getting up to, and Peeta is his usual unbelievably perfect and respectful self despite what you would think was a harsh upbringing.

The romance is the strength of this fic. It's a very slow build, but the UST is scorching hot despite its chasteness. Scenes where Katniss and Peeta do little more than look at each other whilst fully clothed are described so well that they made me, a seasoned reader of very explicit porn, flustered. The lack of angst paired with this style of romance really reminded me of a romance novel, in fact. A hot, well written one though, I assure you.

Where the fic falls down is the actual plot; the political intrigue isn't really that intriguing. The main villain isn't even present for the most of the fic, and he's not fleshed out at all. I found the fic a real struggle to read after the first half, with the previous momentum just seeming to fade away. It's a shame that this fic isn't great all the way through, but the romance and the well thought out worldbuilding (the authors ANs are interesting reads) are compelling reasons to read this fic - or at least read its first half.

Daughter of Samland, Son of Denmark

The Sidhe by chazzam (NC-17)

  • Nov. 23rd, 2013 at 2:01 AM
Title: The Sidhe [pronounced "shee"!]
Fandom: Glee
Pairing: Kurt/Blaine
Categories: AU, adventure, drama, fantasy, romance, angst, fluff
Length: Super Epic (112,601)
Warnings: Heavily implied rape, other instances of noncon, some violence, slavery and abuse

Author on LJ: n/a
Author's website: chazzam on tumblr

Summary: Epic romantic fantasy adventure, seriously AU, with angst and fluff in equal measure.
The Sidhe are a powerful race of elves that have been weakened and enslaved by humans.  Blaine has always hated the practice, but over the years he has grown resigned to it as a social reality.
But everything changes when he finds himself falling in love with one of the creatures, and becomes determined to help him escape.

Review:
I feel like all the fics I'm reccing at the moment are core fics in the fandom, and this one is no different. When I saw that the theme for this week's recs was Alternative Universe, I didn't even have to think twice about what I was going to do. Because this is the kind of AU that you never forget.

For someone like me who dreams and writes about and absolutely lives in a world of fantasy, reading this story was like I had finally found the one fic that could bring together my love for Klaine and my love for other worlds. It's dramatic, romantic, well-crafted and will haunt you with emotion at the most innaproppriate of times. It's clear how deeply the author understands and knows the world she's created -- important in any story, certainly, but definitely more so in an entirely new world to our own. It's with that knowledge and the precision it brings that Kurt and Blaine fit in so neatly, as two people from entirely different backgrounds, drawn together by the power of fate. And love, obviously.

Although fate definitely deserves a mention when talking about this fic. The brilliantly detailed faerie culture in this world relies heavily on it, and (being Kurt's background) seeps through into the story and the relationship between the two as well. Not only in this fic, but an extremely powerful scene towards the end validates the way Kurt and Blaine always come together, no matter what circumstances or what world, because they were meant to be. And if you're up to date on watching Glee, you'll see how that idea was even adopted in canon.

Fate, magic and love, all stirred together with a healthy dose of angst and adventure: you've got yourself a story that will absolutely blow your socks off.

The Sidhe on FF.net or on S&C

Tasting Flight by lurkdusoleil (NC-17)

  • Nov. 9th, 2013 at 1:37 AM
Title: Tasting Flight
Fandom: Glee
Pairing: Kurt/Blaine
Categories: Romance, angst, AU, slavery
Length: Epic (68,471)
Warnings: Violence, mentioned kidnapping, non-con, dub-con, sexual slavery, sexual Blaine/Sebastian, Kurt/Sebastian and Kurt/Blaine/Sebastian, basically all the situations you would get from Sebastian having a harem of boys

Author on LJ: n/a
Website: lurkdusoleil on tumblr

Summary: Blaine has been a slave in Sebastian's household for ten years. But never in that time has he met someone like Kurt, who is now his duty to train for Sebastian.

Review:
This fic definitely isn't for the faint-hearted, and especially not if you can't stand reading about Sebastian Smythe.

In a modern setting where slavery, sexual and otherwise, is very much the norm, a wealthy man owning a harem of boys to use for his pleasure is completely ordinary. While I'm not normally one to enjoy reading a fic in which Sebastian features prominently, his dark possessiveness and underlying humanity really made me understand him as a character. Don't be put off!

Of course, the fic mainly centres around Blaine and his relationship with Kurt. In a situation where most sex is non-romantic, the way these two are pulled towards each other completely draws your attention, demanding that you laugh and cry when they do. It's sweet and emotional and the tension is sexy as hell. Kurt and Blaine's characterizations fit together extremely well, which I felt really added to the romance.

Only the second piece of fanfiction I read by this wonderful author, this fic has stuck with me for a very long time, and I like to go back to it again and again just to experience it all over. And I hope it will do the same for you too.

Tasting Flight on AO3
Fic on Scarves and Coffee (Klaine fanfiction archive)

Memories Series by YouCantSeeUs (Pg13)

  • Jul. 4th, 2013 at 10:09 AM
Title: Memories Series
Fandom: Chronicles of Narnia
Pairing: Caspian/Edmund Pevensie
Categories: AU, Romance, Sad Stories
Length:Long (30,000)
Warnings:Underage (Sort of?), Slavery, Canon Typical Violence

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] youcantseeus
Website: YouCantSeeUs's A03

Summary:Soon, all Edmund's memories of Narnia will blur together. For now, he remembers Caspian.

Edmund goes back to his own world, but Caspian must live the rest of his life with the pain of being in love with two people.

Review: It's always a joy when I find a good solid Chronicles of Narnia fic. And Memories is one of the best I've read in a long time. The characterization is superb and the unusual format does a great job of telling the story around the story that we find in the Narnia Books.

The second story in particular does an amazing job of reconciling the two portions of Caspian's life that we see in The Dawn Treader and The Silver Chair.

Memories Series
Title: Children of the Sun series
Fandom: The Eagle / Eagle of the Ninth
Pairing: Marcus Flavius Aquila/Esca Mac Cunoval
Categories: AU, Angst, Drama, Soulbonding
Length: Long (25,031 [6,127 + 18,904] words)
Warnings: Slavery (including violence against slaves and sexual coercion, though as the author puts it "no non-consensual sex occurs, but it's mentioned to have happened to others"), Canonical Character Deaths, Canon-Typical Violence, Internalized ablist attitudes, Suicidal thoughts

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] sineala / [personal profile] sineala
Author Website: faviconSineala

Summary:
Part 1: Everyone knows that somewhere else in the world is the person who is the other half of their soul, destined for them by the gods, a person whose very emotions they can feel. Lonely and in disgrace, Marcus soldiers across the empire, certain that his own soulmate is out there, and he strives to find him even as duty and misfortune would keep them apart.

Part 2: Esca, son of Cunoval, has known from childhood how his life will be. When he first feels the soulbond in his mind, he will be made a man of the Brigantes. He will be inked. He will become a warrior. In a few years, his soulmate will come in search of him from a neighboring clan. His soulmate will be proud of him, proud that Esca is heir to a clan chieftain, proud that Esca will one day be lord of five hundred spears. They will marry. They will lead the clan together. It will be a good life. Then Esca discovers his soulmate is a Roman soldier. This is, shall we say, problematic.

Review:
This canon-era AU spans a decade in both Esca and Marcus's lives, from when they first feel their soulbond until just after they meet. Each of this duo of stories focus entirely on their point-of-view character's journey to their eventual meeting. Marcus, as a soldier, must take a drug to suppress his connection to Esca, though this connection is the one thing that alleviates his loneliness and suppressing it may prevent him from ever finding the mysterious person he senses is so far away. Esca is horrified when he discovers the warm presence of his bondmate comes from the direction of the reviled Roman Empire, but that horror is nothing compared to the loss of his people and his freedom. Injury and slavery cause each in turn to doubt they'll ever find the other, until a fateful day in the gladiatorial arena.

The bonding worldbuilding is great, with these bonds a normal part of everyday life; the possibility that a person may never meet their soulmate--due to death, inability to travel, a soldier's duty to country first--was interesting and sad. I liked how the concepts slightly tweaked canon events. The characterizations are nuanced and believable, and each story really gets into the head of the main character. Though I don't know much about the people and places of the classical world, I loved how realistic and researched the story, situations and locations felt.

Please do mind the warnings, since the stories deal with some tough situations including Marcus's major injury and reactions to it, Esca's loss of his people and treatment during his years-long enslavement under several masters, and both their feelings of depression and hopelessness at various times in tale.

Click here to read an excerpt. I loved this scene where they first meet, which hews so close to canon and yet is so altered by the AU circumstances. )

Children of the Sun series page
Part 1: Children of the Sun
Part 2: Shadows on the Land
Title: Children of the Sun series
Fandom: The Eagle / Eagle of the Ninth
Pairing: Marcus Flavius Aquila/Esca Mac Cunoval
Categories: AU, Angst, Drama, Soulbonding
Length: Long (25,031 [6,127 + 18,904] words)
Warnings: Slavery (including violence against slaves and sexual coercion, though as the author puts it "no non-consensual sex occurs, but it's mentioned to have happened to others"), Canonical Character Deaths, Canon-Typical Violence, Internalized ablist attitudes, Suicidal thoughts

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] sineala / [personal profile] sineala
Author Website: faviconSineala

Summary:
Part 1: Everyone knows that somewhere else in the world is the person who is the other half of their soul, destined for them by the gods, a person whose very emotions they can feel. Lonely and in disgrace, Marcus soldiers across the empire, certain that his own soulmate is out there, and he strives to find him even as duty and misfortune would keep them apart.

Part 2: Esca, son of Cunoval, has known from childhood how his life will be. When he first feels the soulbond in his mind, he will be made a man of the Brigantes. He will be inked. He will become a warrior. In a few years, his soulmate will come in search of him from a neighboring clan. His soulmate will be proud of him, proud that Esca is heir to a clan chieftain, proud that Esca will one day be lord of five hundred spears. They will marry. They will lead the clan together. It will be a good life. Then Esca discovers his soulmate is a Roman soldier. This is, shall we say, problematic.

Review:
This canon-era AU spans a decade in both Esca and Marcus's lives, from when they first feel their soulbond until just after they meet. Each of this duo of stories focus entirely on their point-of-view character's journey to their eventual meeting. Marcus, as a soldier, must take a drug to suppress his connection to Esca, though this connection is the one thing that alleviates his loneliness and suppressing it may prevent him from ever finding the mysterious person he senses is so far away. Esca is horrified when he discovers the warm presence of his bondmate comes from the direction of the reviled Roman Empire, but that horror is nothing compared to the loss of his people and his freedom. Injury and slavery cause each in turn to doubt they'll ever find the other, until a fateful day in the gladiatorial arena.

The bonding worldbuilding is great, with these bonds a normal part of everyday life; the possibility that a person may never meet their soulmate--due to death, inability to travel, a soldier's duty to country first--was interesting and sad. I liked how the concepts slightly tweaked canon events. The characterizations are nuanced and believable, and each story really gets into the head of the main character. Though I don't know much about the people and places of the classical world, I loved how realistic and researched the story, situations and locations felt.

Please do mind the warnings, since the stories death with some tough situations including Marcus's major injury and reactions to it, Esca's loss of his people and treatment during his years-long enslavement under several masters, and both their feelings of depression and hopelessness at various times in tale.

Click here to read an excerpt. I loved this scene where they first meet, which hews so close to canon and yet is so altered by the AU circumstances. )

Children of the Sun series page
Part 1: Children of the Sun
Part 2: Shadows on the Land

Unbreakable by Fanbot (NC-17)

  • Sep. 4th, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Title: Unbreakable
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Pairing: Spike/Xander
Categories: Hurt/Comfort, Post-Canon, Drama
Length: Super Epic (104,427 words)
Warnings: Violence, slavery, rape, murder, recovery, secondary character death

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] fanbot
Author Website: Fanbot's Fun Pages

Summary:
It's five years past "Not Fade Away." Spike works freelance for the Watcher's council. Xander went missing for a long time, until Spike found him. Now, Spike must help Xander recover from long, hard years in captivity.

Review:
Xander was captured and sold into a demon slave ring in Africa. By chance, Spike finds him at a slave auction and returns him to the Scooby gang. His recovery is a rough one and knowing his friends won't be able understand what he went through he turns to Spike to help him through it.

Another 'classic' of the fandom. Xander is much changed by his years of captivity, although the lovable 'doughnut boy' still lurks underneath. :) Spike has also changed quite a bit, he's still recognizable as Spike but he's not quite so rough around the edges anymore.

It's a thoroughly engrossing read.



Unbreakable: On LJ || Author Website || Spander Files

Unbreakable by Fanbot (NC-17)

  • Sep. 4th, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Title: Unbreakable
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Pairing: Spike/Xander
Categories: Hurt/Comfort, Post-Canon, Drama
Length: Super Epic (104,427 words)
Warnings: Violence, slavery, rape, murder, recovery, secondary character death

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] fanbot
Author Website: Fanbot's Fun Pages

Summary:
It's five years past "Not Fade Away." Spike works freelance for the Watcher's council. Xander went missing for a long time, until Spike found him. Now, Spike must help Xander recover from long, hard years in captivity.

Review:
Xander was captured and sold into a demon slave ring in Africa. By chance, Spike finds him at a slave auction and returns him to the Scooby gang. His recovery is a rough one and knowing his friends won't be able understand what he went through he turns to Spike to help him through it.

Another 'classic' of the fandom. Xander is much changed by his years of captivity, although the lovable 'doughnut boy' still lurks underneath. :) Spike has also changed quite a bit, he's still recognizable as Spike but he's not quite so rough around the edges anymore.

It's a thoroughly engrossing read.



Unbreakable: On LJ || Author Website || Spander Files

Unbreakable by Fanbot (NC-17)

  • Sep. 4th, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Title: Unbreakable
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Pairing: Spike/Xander
Categories: Hurt/Comfort, Post-Canon, Drama
Length: Super Epic (104,427 words)
Warnings: Violence, slavery, rape, murder, recovery, secondary character death

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] fanbot
Author Website: Fanbot's Fun Pages

Summary:
It's five years past "Not Fade Away." Spike works freelance for the Watcher's council. Xander went missing for a long time, until Spike found him. Now, Spike must help Xander recover from long, hard years in captivity.

Review:
Xander was captured and sold into a demon slave ring in Africa. By chance, Spike finds him at a slave auction and returns him to the Scooby gang. His recovery is a rough one and knowing his friends won't be able understand what he went through he turns to Spike to help him through it.

Another 'classic' of the fandom. Xander is much changed by his years of captivity, although the lovable 'doughnut boy' still lurks underneath. :) Spike has also changed quite a bit, he's still recognizable as Spike but he's not quite so rough around the edges anymore.

It's a thoroughly engrossing read.



Unbreakable: On LJ || Author Website || Spander Files

Unbreakable by Fanbot (NC-17)

  • Sep. 4th, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Title: Unbreakable
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Pairing: Spike/Xander
Categories: Hurt/Comfort, Post-Canon, Drama
Length: Super Epic (104,427 words)
Warnings: Violence, slavery, rape, murder, recovery, secondary character death

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] fanbot
Author Website: Fanbot's Fun Pages

Summary:
It's five years past "Not Fade Away." Spike works freelance for the Watcher's council. Xander went missing for a long time, until Spike found him. Now, Spike must help Xander recover from long, hard years in captivity.

Review:
Xander was captured and sold into a demon slave ring in Africa. By chance, Spike finds him at a slave auction and returns him to the Scooby gang. His recovery is a rough one and knowing his friends won't be able understand what he went through he turns to Spike to help him through it.

Another 'classic' of the fandom. Xander is much changed by his years of captivity, although the lovable 'doughnut boy' still lurks underneath. :) Spike has also changed quite a bit, he's still recognizable as Spike but he's not quite so rough around the edges anymore.

It's a thoroughly engrossing read.



Unbreakable: On LJ || Author Website || Spander Files

Gadarene by unpossible (NC-17)

  • May. 3rd, 2012 at 5:58 AM
Apologies for the late post, yesterday really kicked my butt.
Also, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] lolitakun for letting me rec in one of her usual fandoms.


Title: Gadarene
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin, non-consensual Merlin/Others, background various pairings
Categories: Canon-era AU, Drama, Angst, Slavery, Dark Themes, and a bit of Action/Adventure
Length: Epic (76,830 words)
Warnings: Slavery, Rape, Dub-Con, Secondary Character Death, Magically-Induced Mental Illness

Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website: faviconunpossible

Summary:
“You’re the Prince?” Merlin says, eyeing him. He hesitates, then says, defiant, “The Mad Prince of Camelot.”
Arthur doesn’t move. There’s quiet for a long time, then he says it. “I am.”
“You don’t seem mad,” he says.
The smile wells up from somewhere deep, and very sad. “Well, Merlin,” he says, “give me time.”


Review:
In a world just slightly removed from canon, Arthur is the "Mad Prince" of Camelot, suffering occasional and inexplicable bouts of insanity. Because of this, and with Uther dead, Agravaine rules as Camelot's regent, and Arthur chafes at his uncle's unjust and enslaving reign. When he sees the most recent conquests dragged into the castle, he does what little he can, and demands the dark-haired man with the big ears as his own tribute.

Merlin, horribly treated by his captors and prevented from using magic by manacles of cold-iron, doesn't know what to make of this so-called Mad Prince that demanded him and now treats him as his less-than-wanted servant.

Long and intricately plotted, the story follows both Arthur and Merlin's points-of-view in turn as they deal with court intrigue, external threats to the kingdom, the unjust ruler and his lackeys, surprises, secrets, and a slow-building trust and eventual relationship between the two (Merlin and Arthur, not the ruler and lackeys, natch).

There are several mysterious elements, including the nature and cause of Arthur's madness and what has happened to Morgana and Gwen. Nearly every important character of Merlin makes an appearance, including small appearances by Hunith and Balinor (which I particularly enjoyed), and the various knights.

There is a thoroughly satisfying resolution, and I felt like cheering at the end.

Definitely mind the warnings. In particular, there is both off-page and explicit mentions of rape as well as the dubious consent of sex inside a master/slave relationship, though the second issue is handled with thoughtfulness, a slow-build up, and great care by the author.

Lastly, there are several side-story follow up fics that are currently works-in-progress that may be worth checking out (found in the Magical Bloody Sex Assassin series post), that flesh out some of the side characters. However, the main story is epic-length and can stand on it's own.

Gadarene

Gadarene by unpossible (NC-17)

  • May. 3rd, 2012 at 5:58 AM
Apologies for the late post, yesterday really kicked my butt.
Also, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] lolitakun for letting me rec in one of her usual fandoms.


Title: Gadarene
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin, non-consensual Merlin/Others, background various pairings
Categories: Canon-era AU, Drama, Angst, Slavery, Dark Themes, and a bit of Action/Adventure
Length: Epic (76,830 words)
Warnings: Slavery, Rape, Dub-Con, Secondary Character Death, Magically-Induced Mental Illness

Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website: faviconunpossible

Summary:
“You’re the Prince?” Merlin says, eyeing him. He hesitates, then says, defiant, “The Mad Prince of Camelot.”
Arthur doesn’t move. There’s quiet for a long time, then he says it. “I am.”
“You don’t seem mad,” he says.
The smile wells up from somewhere deep, and very sad. “Well, Merlin,” he says, “give me time.”


Review:
In a world just slightly removed from canon, Arthur is the "Mad Prince" of Camelot, suffering occasional and inexplicable bouts of insanity. Because of this, and with Uther dead, Agravaine rules as Camelot's regent, and Arthur chafes at his uncle's unjust and enslaving reign. When he sees the most recent conquests dragged into the castle, he does what little he can, and demands the dark-haired man with the big ears as his own tribute.

Merlin, horribly treated by his captors and prevented from using magic by manacles of cold-iron, doesn't know what to make of this so-called Mad Prince that demanded him and now treats him as his less-than-wanted servant.

Long and intricately plotted, the story follows both Arthur and Merlin's points-of-view in turn as they deal with court intrigue, external threats to the kingdom, the unjust ruler and his lackeys, surprises, secrets, and a slow-building trust and eventual relationship between the two (Merlin and Arthur, not the ruler and lackeys, natch).

There are several mysterious elements, including the nature and cause of Arthur's madness and what has happened to Morgana and Gwen. Nearly every important character of Merlin makes an appearance, including small appearances by Hunith and Balinor (which I particularly enjoyed), and the various knights.

There is a thoroughly satisfying resolution, and I felt like cheering at the end.

Definitely mind the warnings. In particular, there is both off-page and explicit mentions of rape as well as the dubious consent of sex inside a master/slave relationship, though the second issue is handled with thoughtfulness, a slow-build up, and great care by the author.

Lastly, there are several side-story follow up fics that are currently works-in-progress that may be worth checking out (found in the Magical Bloody Sex Assassin series post), that flesh out some of the side characters. However, the main story is epic-length and can stand on it's own.

Gadarene

Gadarene by unpossible (NC-17)

  • May. 3rd, 2012 at 5:58 AM
Apologies for the late post, yesterday really kicked my butt.
Also, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] lolitakun for letting me rec in one of her usual fandoms.


Title: Gadarene
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin, non-consensual Merlin/Others, background various pairings
Categories: Canon-era AU, Drama, Angst, Slavery, Dark Themes, and a bit of Action/Adventure
Length: Epic (76,830 words)
Warnings: Slavery, Rape, Dub-Con, Secondary Character Death, Magically-Induced Mental Illness

Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website: faviconunpossible

Summary:
“You’re the Prince?” Merlin says, eyeing him. He hesitates, then says, defiant, “The Mad Prince of Camelot.”
Arthur doesn’t move. There’s quiet for a long time, then he says it. “I am.”
“You don’t seem mad,” he says.
The smile wells up from somewhere deep, and very sad. “Well, Merlin,” he says, “give me time.”


Review:
In a world just slightly removed from canon, Arthur is the "Mad Prince" of Camelot, suffering occasional and inexplicable bouts of insanity. Because of this, and with Uther dead, Agravaine rules as Camelot's regent, and Arthur chafes at his uncle's unjust and enslaving reign. When he sees the most recent conquests dragged into the castle, he does what little he can, and demands the dark-haired man with the big ears as his own tribute.

Merlin, horribly treated by his captors and prevented from using magic by manacles of cold-iron, doesn't know what to make of this so-called Mad Prince that demanded him and now treats him as his less-than-wanted servant.

Long and intricately plotted, the story follows both Arthur and Merlin's points-of-view in turn as they deal with court intrigue, external threats to the kingdom, the unjust ruler and his lackeys, surprises, secrets, and a slow-building trust and eventual relationship between the two (Merlin and Arthur, not the ruler and lackeys, natch).

There are several mysterious elements, including the nature and cause of Arthur's madness and what has happened to Morgana and Gwen. Nearly every important character of Merlin makes an appearance, including small appearances by Hunith and Balinor (which I particularly enjoyed), and the various knights.

There is a thoroughly satisfying resolution, and I felt like cheering at the end.

Definitely mind the warnings. In particular, there is both off-page and explicit mentions of rape as well as the dubious consent of sex inside a master/slave relationship, though the second issue is handled with thoughtfulness, a slow-build up, and great care by the author.

Lastly, there are several side-story follow up fics that are currently works-in-progress that may be worth checking out (found in the Magical Bloody Sex Assassin series post), that flesh out some of the side characters. However, the main story is epic-length and can stand on it's own.

Gadarene

Gadarene by unpossible (NC-17)

  • May. 3rd, 2012 at 5:58 AM
Apologies for the late post, yesterday really kicked my butt.
Also, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] lolitakun for letting me rec in one of her usual fandoms.


Title: Gadarene
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin, non-consensual Merlin/Others, background various pairings
Categories: Canon-era AU, Drama, Angst, Slavery, Dark Themes, and a bit of Action/Adventure
Length: Epic (76,830 words)
Warnings: Slavery, Rape, Dub-Con, Secondary Character Death, Magically-Induced Mental Illness

Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website: faviconunpossible

Summary:
“You’re the Prince?” Merlin says, eyeing him. He hesitates, then says, defiant, “The Mad Prince of Camelot.”
Arthur doesn’t move. There’s quiet for a long time, then he says it. “I am.”
“You don’t seem mad,” he says.
The smile wells up from somewhere deep, and very sad. “Well, Merlin,” he says, “give me time.”


Review:
In a world just slightly removed from canon, Arthur is the "Mad Prince" of Camelot, suffering occasional and inexplicable bouts of insanity. Because of this, and with Uther dead, Agravaine rules as Camelot's regent, and Arthur chafes at his uncle's unjust and enslaving reign. When he sees the most recent conquests dragged into the castle, he does what little he can, and demands the dark-haired man with the big ears as his own tribute.

Merlin, horribly treated by his captors and prevented from using magic by manacles of cold-iron, doesn't know what to make of this so-called Mad Prince that demanded him and now treats him as his less-than-wanted servant.

Long and intricately plotted, the story follows both Arthur and Merlin's points-of-view in turn as they deal with court intrigue, external threats to the kingdom, the unjust ruler and his lackeys, surprises, secrets, and a slow-building trust and eventual relationship between the two (Merlin and Arthur, not the ruler and lackeys, natch).

There are several mysterious elements, including the nature and cause of Arthur's madness and what has happened to Morgana and Gwen. Nearly every important character of Merlin makes an appearance, including small appearances by Hunith and Balinor (which I particularly enjoyed), and the various knights.

There is a thoroughly satisfying resolution, and I felt like cheering at the end.

Definitely mind the warnings. In particular, there is both off-page and explicit mentions of rape as well as the dubious consent of sex inside a master/slave relationship, though the second issue is handled with thoughtfulness, a slow-build up, and great care by the author.

Lastly, there are several side-story follow up fics that are currently works-in-progress that may be worth checking out (found in the Magical Bloody Sex Assassin series post), that flesh out some of the side characters. However, the main story is epic-length and can stand on it's own.

Gadarene

Gadarene by unpossible (NC-17)

  • May. 3rd, 2012 at 5:58 AM
Apologies for the late post, yesterday really kicked my butt.
Also, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] lolitakun for letting me rec in one of her usual fandoms.


Title: Gadarene
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin, non-consensual Merlin/Others, background various pairings
Categories: Canon-era AU, Drama, Angst, Slavery, Dark Themes, and a bit of Action/Adventure
Length: Epic (76,830 words)
Warnings: Slavery, Rape, Dub-Con, Secondary Character Death, Magically-Induced Mental Illness

Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website: faviconunpossible

Summary:
“You’re the Prince?” Merlin says, eyeing him. He hesitates, then says, defiant, “The Mad Prince of Camelot.”
Arthur doesn’t move. There’s quiet for a long time, then he says it. “I am.”
“You don’t seem mad,” he says.
The smile wells up from somewhere deep, and very sad. “Well, Merlin,” he says, “give me time.”


Review:
In a world just slightly removed from canon, Arthur is the "Mad Prince" of Camelot, suffering occasional and inexplicable bouts of insanity. Because of this, and with Uther dead, Agravaine rules as Camelot's regent, and Arthur chafes at his uncle's unjust and enslaving reign. When he sees the most recent conquests dragged into the castle, he does what little he can, and demands the dark-haired man with the big ears as his own tribute.

Merlin, horribly treated by his captors and prevented from using magic by manacles of cold-iron, doesn't know what to make of this so-called Mad Prince that demanded him and now treats him as his less-than-wanted servant.

Long and intricately plotted, the story follows both Arthur and Merlin's points-of-view in turn as they deal with court intrigue, external threats to the kingdom, the unjust ruler and his lackeys, surprises, secrets, and a slow-building trust and eventual relationship between the two (Merlin and Arthur, not the ruler and lackeys, natch).

There are several mysterious elements, including the nature and cause of Arthur's madness and what has happened to Morgana and Gwen. Nearly every important character of Merlin makes an appearance, including small appearances by Hunith and Balinor (which I particularly enjoyed), and the various knights.

There is a thoroughly satisfying resolution, and I felt like cheering at the end.

Definitely mind the warnings. In particular, there is both off-page and explicit mentions of rape as well as the dubious consent of sex inside a master/slave relationship, though the second issue is handled with thoughtfulness, a slow-build up, and great care by the author.

Lastly, there are several side-story follow up fics that are currently works-in-progress that may be worth checking out (found in the Magical Bloody Sex Assassin series post), that flesh out some of the side characters. However, the main story is epic-length and can stand on it's own.

Gadarene

Gadarene by unpossible (NC-17)

  • May. 3rd, 2012 at 5:58 AM
Apologies for the late post, yesterday really kicked my butt.
Also, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] lolitakun for letting me rec in one of her usual fandoms.


Title: Gadarene
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin, non-consensual Merlin/Others, background various pairings
Categories: Canon-era AU, Drama, Angst, Slavery, Dark Themes, and a bit of Action/Adventure
Length: Epic (76,830 words)
Warnings: Slavery, Rape, Dub-Con, Secondary Character Death, Magically-Induced Mental Illness

Author on LJ: unknown
Author Website: faviconunpossible

Summary:
“You’re the Prince?” Merlin says, eyeing him. He hesitates, then says, defiant, “The Mad Prince of Camelot.”
Arthur doesn’t move. There’s quiet for a long time, then he says it. “I am.”
“You don’t seem mad,” he says.
The smile wells up from somewhere deep, and very sad. “Well, Merlin,” he says, “give me time.”


Review:
In a world just slightly removed from canon, Arthur is the "Mad Prince" of Camelot, suffering occasional and inexplicable bouts of insanity. Because of this, and with Uther dead, Agravaine rules as Camelot's regent, and Arthur chafes at the reign of his uncle's unjust and enslaving reign. When he sees the most recent conquests dragged into the castle, he does what little he can, and demands the dark-haired man with the big ears as his own tribute.

Merlin, horribly treated by his captors and prevented from using magic by manacles of cold-iron, doesn't know what to make of this so-called Mad Prince that demanded him and now treats him as his less-than-wanted servant.

Long and intricately plotted, the story follows both Arthur and Merlin's points-of-view in turn as they deal with court intrigue, external threats to the kingdom, the unjust ruler and his lackeys, surprises, secrets, and a slow-building trust and eventual relationship between the two (Merlin and Arthur, not the ruler and lackeys, natch).

There are several mysterious elements, including the nature and cause of Arthur's madness and what has happened to Morgana and Gwen. Nearly every important character of Merlin makes an appearance, including small appearances by Hunith and Balinor (which I particularly enjoyed), and the various knights.

There is a thoroughly satisfying resolution, and I felt like cheering at the end.

Definitely mind the warnings. In particular, there is both off-page and explicit mentions of rape as well as the dubious consent of sex inside a master/slave relationship, though the second issue is handled with thoughtfulness, a slow-build up, and great care by the author.

Lastly, there are several side-story follow up fics that are currently works-in-progress that may be worth checking out (found in the Magical Bloody Sex Assassin series post), that flesh out some of the side characters. However, the main story is epic-length and can stand on it's own.

Gadarene

Patience, a Steady Hand by Helenish (NC-17)

  • Feb. 22nd, 2012 at 6:31 PM
Title: Patience, a Steady Hand by Helenish
Fandom: Inception
Pairing: Arthur/Eames
Categories: AU, Angst, Drama, Romance, Slave
Length: Epic (43,502 words)
Warnings: the author warns for "Rape, attempted rape, coercive sex, dubiously consensual sex, physical and emotional abuse, violence, sexual violence, and sexism," and I'll add a warning for a relationship/plot of 'rape that turns into love.'

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] helenish / [personal profile] helenish
Author Website: faviconHelenish

Summary:
821 A.D. Arthur is in the nightmare business. Eames is a thief, a liar, and versatile with a pen.

Review:
This is one of those stories that the setup (Viking AU!?!) sounded so crack-y, and the warnings (lots about rape) sounded so daunting, that I avoided it for a while despite seeing it recced around and constantly popping up on my delicious bookmark network. When I was finally in the right frame of mind, I was so glad I'd read it. The warnings are all appropriate and should be heeded, but helenish takes the set up and uses it to explore all the problematic concepts inherent in it. Somehow, the Arthur and Eames are still very much themselves, despite Arthur now being a Viking berserker and Eames an artistic monk-turned-slave.

Arthur (the Viking!) captures Eames as his slave, saving him from slaughter, but forcing him into a life he doesn't want. Their relationship is long and complex; they're both pretty messed up, and in a messy situation. My favorite parts are during the long winter, when they're holed up inside away from the rest of the village and Arthur is learning Saxon from Eames and Eames is drawing. I also really liked the character voices and settings. The village and life there is vivid, though I have no idea if it's historically accurate. The ending is happy and a bit unexpected and I love where helenish takes us. There's a clever symmetry to it.

Click here to read an excerpt. )

Patience, a Steady Hand

Patience, a Steady Hand by Helenish (NC-17)

  • Feb. 22nd, 2012 at 6:31 PM
Title: Patience, a Steady Hand by Helenish
Fandom: Inception
Pairing: Arthur/Eames
Categories: AU, Angst, Drama, Romance, Slave
Length: Epic (43,502 words)
Warnings: the author warns for "Rape, attempted rape, coercive sex, dubiously consensual sex, physical and emotional abuse, violence, sexual violence, and sexism," and I'll add a warning for a relationship/plot of 'rape that turns into love.'

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] helenish / [personal profile] helenish
Author Website: faviconHelenish

Summary:
821 A.D. Arthur is in the nightmare business. Eames is a thief, a liar, and versatile with a pen.

Review:
This is one of those stories that the setup (Viking AU!?!) sounded so crack-y, and the warnings (lots about rape) sounded so daunting, that I avoided it for a while despite seeing it recced around and constantly popping up on my delicious bookmark network. When I was finally in the right frame of mind, I was so glad I'd read it. The warnings are all appropriate and should be heeded, but helenish takes the set up and uses it to explore all the problematic concepts inherent in it. Somehow, the Arthur and Eames are still very much themselves, despite Arthur now being a Viking berserker and Eames an artistic monk-turned-slave.

Arthur (the Viking!) captures Eames as his slave, saving him from slaughter, but forcing him into a life he doesn't want. Their relationship is long and complex; they're both pretty messed up, and in a messy situation. My favorite parts are during the long winter, when they're holed up inside away from the rest of the village and Arthur is learning Saxon from Eames and Eames is drawing. I also really liked the character voices and settings. The village and life there is vivid, though I have no idea if it's historically accurate. The ending is happy and a bit unexpected and I love where helenish takes us. There's a clever symmetry to it.

Click here to read an excerpt. )

Patience, a Steady Hand

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