In love with my radio by lunchee (PG-13)

  • Sep. 8th, 2015 at 11:10 PM
Title: In love with my radio
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Merlin Emrys/Arthur Pendragon
Categories/Genres: Secret Identity AU
Length: 27669
Warnings: None

Author/Artist on AO3:Lunchee



Summary: Merlin listens to the radio, Arthur stalks Merlin, Morgana lives to create chaos in Arthur's life, and then everyone goes to McDonalds! Also love happens.

From the kmm prompt: Arthur has an anonymous blog/lj/twitter where he posts about his life, and Merlin follows it RELIGIOUSLY. Arthur starts posting about how he's stalking this amazingly hot guy...


Review: This story is adorable. When Merlin first meets Arthur it’s when he is insanely drunk so he doesn’t remember a thing. Only Arthur does remember it and want’s to get revenge on Merlin for throwing a drink in his face (even though he deserved it). So Arthur as presenter of a radio show host starts a thing up where he is going to stalk this guy to learn his weaknesses. Only the things he learns and announces gives away his true feelings for the guy.

Merlin however cannot remember ever throwing a drink in someones face and so even though he watches the show religiously, and however much the guy Arthur’s talking about sounds like him he obliviously believes it can never be him as he never did that.

There is a lot of weird behaviour in this and Merlin just accepts it all. The girls dress him up in a girly headband and skirt and he barely even protests so you end up believing how easily he forgives Arthur probably isn’t that hard.

The best thing about this fic is that it has all my favourite things. A secret identity plus lots of pining. Arthur pretends he hates Merlin at first but eventually has to admit what every ones been telling him about how he clearly likes Merlin a lot. Lots and lots of obliviousness on Merlin’s part. Like alot.

In love with my radio

Thistledown by Violette_Royale (NC-17)

  • Jun. 15th, 2015 at 8:37 PM
Title: Thistledown
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Merlin/Arthur
Genres: AU, Genderswap, Romance, Historical, Adventure, Cross-dressing, First-time
Length: Epic (90,547 words)
Warnings: None

Author on LJ: N/A
Author Website: Violette_Royale @ AO3

Author's Summary:
South-west England, 1140. Sixteen-year old Merlin is a novice nun. One day, she finds a wounded knight, and offers to hide him from his enemies. When she falls to temptation and shares a bed with him, the consequences are more far-reaching than she could ever have imagined, changing her life forever.

Written for this KMM prompt: Arthur/Merlin historical AU. Merlin is a [nun]. Arthur is a knight who asks Merlin to hide him from his enemies. At first he is happy to sleep on the floor, then he asks to sleep in Merlin's bed, then he cuddles close to Merlin to keep warm.

Review:
This is a romance through and through. Watching Merlin and Arthur's relationship develop is a delight; they're unable to keep their hands off each other, and yet they are also still the bickering pair we know and love. Girl!Merlin, for all that she's a nun, is still completely in character. Both of them are completely clueless when it comes to sex, and the way they learn and mature together is sweet and funny, and always equal and respectful.

Most of the fic is about their pilgrimage to return a holy relic to its place of origin, and their subsequent travels through the holy lands in the period between the First and Second Crusades. Their journey is wonderfully described and just as fulfilling to read as their romance. A beautiful fic in all aspects.

Thistledown

Courtship (G)

  • May. 11th, 2015 at 7:41 PM
Title: Courtship
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Merlin/Arthur
Genres: Romance, Humour, Crack
Length: Medium
Warnings: None

Author on LJ: N/A
Author Website: N/A

Author's Summary:
N/A

Review:
A hilarious and heartwarming prompt fill from [livejournal.com profile] kinkme_merlin. A presumed dead Merlin returns to the kingdom, helps Arthur make peace through 'a little demonstration' of his magic to their fearful neighbours, and attempts to court him through the means of magical gifts; the most notable of these being a bunch of sparkly flowers with a lovely personality. Just pure fun.

Courtship
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: The Week The Sassy Pose Came To Camelot
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Merlin/Arthur
Genres: Humour, Crack
Length: Medium (3,500 words)
Warnings: None

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] magog_83
Author Website: N/A

Author's Summary:
N/A

Review:
The author bases a Merlin fic on the illustrations in one of Enid Blyton's books, and it results in glorious crack. It's like a fic version of a Kate Beaton strip. I love it.

The Week The Sassy Pose Came To Camelot
Title: James Bond Eat Your Heart Out
Fandom:   Merlin
Pairing: Merlin/Arthur
Categories/Genres: Spy, Humor
Length: 75,281
Warnings: None

Author/Artist on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] katie_the_sith Katie-the-sith
Author/Artist on Fanfiction: Fanfiction.net

Summary: AU, loosely based on movie Debs. Arthur is the top student at spy school and Merlin is a notorious evil genius. However rivalry isn't the only thing these two boys are feeling, can Arthur resist Merlin or will he forsake his friends and his country?

Review:
This fic will always stick in my memory as being one of the funniest. It's one of my favourite tropes when a character comes in like a hurricane, messing up a persons perfect life plan and showing them what they should really be living for. Adding to that the feeling of family and loyalty this fic has with some of the most memorable gags that make you laugh for hours this is certainly one of my most favourite Merlin fics.

Merlin is a quite sexy hacker in this. While still being his sweet self, he has the power and smarts to play with the cute blonde spy that thinks he can arrest him. Arthur is extremely frustrated with being played with but is even more annoyed with being attracted to the bad guy as well. The tention eventually has to snap.

James Bond Eat Your Heart Out

Sep. 9th, 2014

  • 9:43 PM
Title: Little Wooden Boy and the Belly of Love
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Merlin/Arthur
Categories: AU, found families
Length: Long (14,925 words)
Warnings: Mild drugs and alcohol use, pegging, mention of mental illness, transgender issues (one of the characters is pre-op ftm)

Author on LJ:  [livejournal.com profile] new_kate
Author on AO3:  new_kate
Podficcer on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] sophinisba
Podficcer on AO3: sophinisba

Summary: Modern AU. Arthur moves to a a different city to start a new life and become a new man. On a whim he decides to share a flat with an attractive stranger, and quickly gets drawn into Merlin's odd little world.

Review: I've already recced the podfic for Amplirecathon 2013 and Podfic Love, but I love this story so much that I couldn't resist giving it a shout out here as well. Every now and then, a podfic opens you up to a story you might not have clicked on otherwise, and this was definitely the case for "Little Wooden Boy and the Belly of Love." I'm often wary of fanfiction that deals with trans issues because I've come across too many stories that fetishize the trans character in a way that makes me feel really uncomfortable. But this story has a wonderfully realistic and three-dimensional portrayal of Arthur as an FTM. Arthur is more than his gender here, which is a refreshing change from so many stories with trans characters. I also love his relationship with Merlin and Merlin's group of friends. I'm a sucker for found families, and this story is all about finding your place with people who love you. I really encourage you to give the story a try, even if you're unfamiliar with the Merlin fandom. It really doesn't take a lot of background knowledge for you to fall in love with these characters.

And [livejournal.com profile] sophinisba's loving performance brings it to life in an absolutely delightful way. I get the sense that she really cares about these characters. Listening to this story feels intimate, like she's taking us right into Arthur's heart. As a reader, she manages to convey a wide range of emotion in the dialogue without ever being overwrought. This podfic, like the story itself, has a sense of healing to it, of creating a whole from many fractured parts. It's one of those comfort stories that I've listened to dozens of times. Also, [livejournal.com profile] yue_ix cover art is absolutely gorgeous. I always love seeing it in my iPod.

Little Wooden Boy and the Belly of Love
[Podfic] Little Wooden Boy and the Belly of Love

The Play's The Thing by Shinybug (R)

  • Jun. 18th, 2014 at 4:18 PM
Title: The Play's The Thing
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
Categories: Canon AU, first time, humor, romance, happy ending
Length: Medium (4,989 words)
Warnings: None

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] shinybug
Author Website: favicon Shinybug

Author's Summary:
Arthur had to spare a thought to be impressed at how many slanderous and untrue things Merlin had managed to insert into such a brief statement: that Arthur liked to drink, and that when he did drink too much he had a tendency to inflict bodily harm upon his manservant, either in the form of beatings and/or possibly sodomy, and that chambermaids were more or less involved in these indiscretions.

Review:
Very rarely do I actually laugh out loud when reading, even when I find something truly funny. Not so, here -- I smile and laugh just thinking about this story, much less reading it. What begins as a ruse to throw off a determined marriage-minded noblewoman leads to hilarity, embarrassment, and ultimately, true love.

I love the author's voice in this story, the way that the situation plays out so humorously and yet never veers outside the realm of plausibility. It seems that everyone but Arthur knows what he and Merlin could be to one another, and Arthur is just a little bit oblivious to what everyone thinks about his relationship with his manservant. Uther's resigned acceptance of The Relationship That Isn't (yet!), Gaius' protectiveness and Morgana's mirth are the icing on the cake.

While the original character Lady Helewys is meant to be an antagonist, of sorts, with her persistence and overly frilly dresses, there's a depth to her as well, in her moment of honesty with Arthur, and I liked Arthur all the better for his recognition of the fact that below her coquetry and affectations was a woman who was simply trying to secure her future.

The Play's The Thing

I Wanna Grow Old With You by Lilybells (G)

  • Jun. 10th, 2014 at 12:59 PM
Title: I Wanna Grow Old With You
Fandom: Merlin
Music Used: Grow Old With You by Adam Sandler
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
Categories: AU, fluff, romance, established relationship, mild angst
Length: Short (1:26)
Warnings: Reference to canonical major character death and return

Artist on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] lil_lollypop36
Artist Website: Lilybells @ Tumblr

Artist's Summary:
I wanna grow old with you.

Review:
I've always been a fan of Lilybells' adorable Merthur chibis, but seeing them animated and set to music takes it to the next level. This video is unbearably sweet, cute, and just a little bit angsty. I wouldn't call myself an Adam Sandler fan, but this particular song is tender, loving, and drives a wonderful narrative when paired with Lilybells' art. Sometimes it's not about the passion and intensity, and this video captures all those tiny little moments of domestic bliss, all those little ways two people can show their love for one another day in, day out, through small and thoughtful gestures. Admittedly I'm a bit of a sap, but I tear up a little bit every time I watch it, and always feel very warm and happy at the end.

I Wanna Grow Old With You

Art: Reborn At Camlann

  • Jun. 3rd, 2014 at 5:48 PM
Title: Reborn At Camlann
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
Categories: Modern AU, fanart, romance, kissing, fluff
Length: N/A
Warnings: none

Artist on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] alby_mangroves
Artist Website: Alby_Mangroves @ DeviantArt & Alby_Mangroves" @ AO3

Artist's Summary:
"You know what they say, man. We all die at Camlann, then we're reborn." Or how Arthur got his groove back.

Review:
Admittedly, part of the reason I love this is that it was inspired by my favorite WIP at [livejournal.com profile] kinkme_merlin, but this gorgeous art can (and does) stand on its own. There are so many things to love - the beautiful details, the intimate pose, the epic kissing...and of course, Merlin's wellies.

Reborn At Camlann

Mango by rotrude (R)

  • May. 27th, 2014 at 3:05 PM
Title: Mango
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
Categories: Modern AU, outsider POV, fluff, pining, romance, established relationship
Length: Medium (13,667 words)
Warnings: A brief, non-explicit description of a medical emergency is given

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] rotrude
Author Website: favicon rotrude

Author's Summary:
Written for this prompt: Secret relationship: they've been together for years without telling anyone, and something gives them away. Mordred, the new quantitative modelling researcher at Albion Ratings, developes a crush on Merlin. So he starts nosing around to find out whether Merlin's free to date.

Review:
You can't help but feel just a little bit sorry for poor, hapless Mordred here. He's rather adorably clueless with his not-so-secret crush on Merlin, and who can blame him? Merlin is warm, friendly, and entirely crush-worthy. To the reader, it is clear that there is something going on between Arthur and Merlin, but the details are just opaque enough to save Mordred from coming across as completely oblivious. This ambiguity creates a delightful tension, building up to the moment of reveal when at last Mordred realizes just how unavailable Merlin is. That the event which precipitates this revelation was unwittingly orchestrated by Mordred, and results in Arthur showing the depth of his feelings for Merlin in a rather heroic, entirely Arthur-ish fashion is just the icing on the cake.

Lovingly detailed writing is a hallmark of this author's excellent work, and in the case of this story it lends realism to the plot. I'm always left with the impression that rotrude fully grasps every element down to the most minute detail. This makes it easy to lose oneself in the story, without having those jarring moments of being thrown out of the narrative as you question this or that.

Mango exemplifies the secret relationship trope in all the best ways, and is a perfectly delightful read.

Mango
Title: Something Worth Fighting For
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
Categories: Historical AU, epistolary, friends to lovers, first time, romance, pining, angst, war
Length: Long (20,921 words)
Warnings: Non-explicit references to off-screen violence

Author on LJ: N/A
Author Website: favicon TheAvalonian

Author's Summary:
Set during World War II. Arthur is sent to the front lines to fight for Britain, while Merlin is left behind, struggling to cope with the absence of his best friend. Seeking to give Arthur some comfort, Merlin begins to send him pieces of a story, which tells of a legendary King and his devoted manservant.

Through their letters, Arthur and Merlin grow closer, and perhaps begin to discover feelings that they could not put into words before. But will Arthur make it through the war? And what will happen if he does?

Review:
It begins with goodbye -- with Merlin's painful farewell to Arthur, as Arthur departs to serve in His Majesty's Armed Forces. The emotions are readily apparent, and while Arthur and Merlin are "only" friends at this point, the potential for something so much deeper and more intense is quickly revealed.

While not told exclusively through letters, the correspondence between Arthur and Merlin plays a key role in this story. We see the depth of Merlin's emotion expressed through the letters he lovingly crafts for Arthur to give him comfort and succor as he endures the horrors of war. The stories of the King and his Wizard that Merlin creates are my favorite element, and I loved the parallels that were drawn between both the events that Arthur was experiencing as well as Merlin canon.

The highlight, of course, is the emotional reunion between Arthur and Merlin when the war finally ends. After experiencing Merlin's realization of the true nature of his feelings for Arthur and his deep longing to be with him once more, I found myself on the edge of my metaphorical seat as Merlin rushed to see a newly-returned Arthur. The integration of Merlin's story into the revelation of their true feelings for one another was a lovely touch and an excellent way of tying everything together.

At long last, seeing the reunited men consummate their love was the perfect ending. If you love historical AUs, letter writing, and/or pining with a happy resolution, please give this one a try.

Something Worth Fighting For

We Are Stardust by fuzzytomato (NC-17)

  • May. 6th, 2014 at 9:13 PM
Title: We Are Stardust
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
Categories: Sci-fi/Space AU, romance, first time, action/adventure
Length: Epic (43,097 words)
Warnings: None

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] fuzzytomato02
Author Website: favicon fuzzytomato

Author's Summary:
The crew of the merchant ship Avalon are a good lot if a little odd. The captain, Morgana, has weird dreams. The first mate, Arthur, is an unpleasant ex-lieutenant of the Phoenix Guard. The ship itself is falling apart. When they take on a new engineer named Merlin at Tintagel drift to help with repairs, they not only get a genius, they get much more than they bargained for.

Review:
I don't know if this is intentional, but this story definitely has a little bit of a Firefly vibe, which I really liked. That doesn't mean you have to be a Firefly fan to enjoy it, not at all. There is so much to love in this story, from the phenomenal world-building to the well-developed characterizations and excellent writing.

I really, really loved seeing Merlin as a technopath, and for his gift in this world to be as rare and powerful as his canon abilities. I loved the element of risk involved, that he might merge with the machines in an irrevocable fashion, perpetually trapped in cyber-state. The use of paradoxes as a test for this state was an interesting detail that I really enjoyed.

Arthur is just a little bit broken, and as we see his initial mistrust of Merlin fade away and their friendship develop, it all feels very natural and organic. When the truth about Merlin's abilities comes out in a time of crisis, Arthur can't stop being concerned about Merlin despite his anger. Seeing them come together again, and seeing Arthur's protectiveness and caring for Merlin, as well as the depth of his feelings finally made physical was immensely satisfying.

Last but certainly not least, I adored Morgana's role as Captain and Seer. Fuzzytomato portrayed a Morgana as I love to see her: an awesome, steadfast, confident woman. She doesn't back down, is fierce in her defense of her family and crew (which in this case, are essentially one and the same), and is everything one could ask for in a strong female lead.

We Are Stardust

For Want of Wreckage by bloodsongs (NC-17)

  • Apr. 15th, 2014 at 1:54 PM
Title: For Want of Wreckage
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
Categories: Canon AU,romance, first time, UST, angst, pining
Length: Long (26,521 words)
Warnings: Mildly dubious consent (magic-induced)

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] blood_songs90
Author Website: favicon bloodsongs

Author's Summary:
When a druid clan visits Camelot to forge an alliance, they offer Arthur a protective rune tattoo as a diplomatic gift. He accepts, unaware of the mischievous tattooist's matchmaking designs after noticing the way Arthur looks longingly at Merlin, ending up with a rune on his back that shields him from harm in battle or, apparently, in bed.

With the tattoo still new and heavy with magic, Arthur finds himself a slave to his own awakened desires from the rune's side effects as they threaten to overwhelm him – at least, until Merlin offers to help.

Review:
One of the things I wanted most from BBC's Merlin was to see the Golden Age of Camelot, and Merlin in a place of honor at Arthur's side as his sorcerer (and more, if we're being honest). Alas, that did not come to pass...which is where fanfiction comes in. For that reason, I really love canon AU's with Merlin as Court Sorcerer, and this one does not disappoint.

This story is chock-full of porn: gorgeous, steamy, beautifully written porn with feelings. (The best kind!) Bloodsongs does a brilliant job of ratcheting up the tension, as our poor oblivious men pine for one another, unaware that their desire is mutual. The dynamic between them is perfectly in-character; they snark and banter and relate to each other exactly as one might expect them to with Merlin as Court Sorcerer -- which is to say very much as they did in the show but with less polishing of armor, mucking out of stables and the like. While Arthur is incapable of showing his appreciation for Merlin with a true compliment, he does admire and respect his power and he shows it in his own semi-insulting Arthurish way.

For Want of Wreckage is a perfect get-together story with a happy ending, and very hot to boot! Highly recommended!

For Want of Wreckage

Stranded by fluffssnowflake (R)

  • Mar. 31st, 2014 at 11:25 AM
Title: Stranded
Fandom: Merlin BBC
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin (Arthur/Gwen)
Categories: Canon era, magic, time travel, beasts to kill, romance
Length: Medium (6,116)
Warnings: None

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] fluffssnowflake
Author Website: favicon fluffssnowflake

Author's summary: When Merlin and Arthur find themselves in a tight spot, they get help from an unexpected source.

Review:
An older Arthur visits Camelot from the future to defeat some of Morgana's beasts... and to turn Merlin's world upside down, apparently.

It's not often I'm this happy about a story in which the magic reveal and several other important events happen 'off stage', but in their place, we get big revelations for Merlin. Present day Arthur (by which I mean Merlin's present in canon era) has been growing more wary of magic, and Merlin thinks he knows where it's all heading. But he'll be very surprised by future King Arthur in more ways than one.

excerpt )

I loved the way Merlin imagines the worst about the situation, only to find that he feels closer to future Arthur than to the one he's known. I also liked that it eventually improves how he sees 'his' present day Arthur. There's humor too; Arthur doesn't like to be told what to do, even when it's his own self... maybe especially when it's himself. And Merlin is a joy here - very in character.

Stranded on AO3 | Stranded on LJ

Dragonholm by Camelittle (NC-17)

  • Mar. 25th, 2014 at 9:38 AM
Title: Dragonholm
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
Categories: Modern AU, romance, drama, hurt/comfort, light angst, fluff, first time
Length: Long (23,262 words)
Warnings: None

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] camelittle
Author Website: favicon Camelittle

Author's Summary:
Merlin's nervous enough about the ski instructor job; he really doesn't need the added stress of concealing the real purpose for his placement. He's a diligent sort of bloke, so he'll do his best. But he can't help thinking it'd all be a whole lot easier if he didn't have a rapidly escalating crush on his room mate.

Review:
There are so many things to love about this story. The interactions between Arthur and Merlin are so authentic - the snark, the banter, the playful (and sometimes not so playful) insults...and the heat and intensity between them is excellently done. There is some seriously gorgeous writing here, too. In one scene in particular, Arthur and Merlin are walking back to the chalet at night, and I was immediately taken in by the imagery. The author's words were so evocative, and painted such a clear and lovely picture of the setting that served as the perfect backdrop for the moment Arthur and Merlin shared under the stars. The relationship between Arthur and Merlin is well-paced and absolutely wonderful. There is immediate chemistry between them and just a little bit of angst because of Merlin's secret, but it doesn't stop them from growing closer and ultimately falling for one another.

I loved seeing a different take on Hunith than I've seen before, and the rest of the supporting cast was delightfully entertaining and in a couple of cases, menacing. I really enjoyed Morgana's role, as well -- her protectiveness of Arthur and the clever way she gatecrashed Merlin's dinner with his mother, for one, and the sweet sadness of her friendship with Gwen too.

The absolute best part of this for me was that it kept me guessing right until the very end. Throughout the story we see Merlin make reference to his secret purpose for being at Dragonholm, and when it was revealed it wasn't at all what I expected. It was the perfect ending to a really enjoyable read.

I highly recommend reading this delightful story, and don't forget to check out the gorgeous art by [livejournal.com profile] fuckyeah!

Dragonholm

Camelot by dreamdustmama (NC-17)

  • Mar. 11th, 2014 at 5:46 PM
Title: Camelot
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
Categories: Modern Magic AU, Romance, Fluff
Length: Medium (11,282 words)
Warnings: None

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] mysecretashes
Author Website: favicon dreamdustmama

Author's Summary:
When Merlin and Will are assigned to do the Birds of Prey show at Camelot Renaissance Faire, neither of them are very happy about it. And then Will gets to dress as a pirate and discovers steak-on-a-stick. Merlin just meets Arthur (and maybe does some magic, too).

Review:
Of course part of the appeal of fanfiction is the opportunity to see beloved characters transplanted to a variety of settings, but there's something really special and fun about seeing Arthur, Merlin et al. against the backdrop of a Renaissance Faire. While the author borrowed from a real Ren Fest for several of the shop names and acts, in other areas bits of Merlin lore are worked in seamlessly, whether it's from Edwin Muirden's "weird remedy shop specializing in beetle cures" or Cedric, who wears black feathers and cons fest-goers into buying fake jewels.

Arthur and Merlin's meet cute is reminiscent of their canon meeting, albeit without references to walking on one's knees or trips to the dungeon. But while the argument leaves Merlin with a poor impression of Arthur, sparks still fly and this Arthur wisely apologizes and makes a move on Merlin, starting a romance that runs the length of the Faire. The author does a great job of portraying the immediate chemistry and attraction between Arthur and Merlin, bringing them together in a way that is natural and very appealing. I loved the way the magic reveal was handled, and Morgana's role in it was a perfect fit and very in-character.

The friendship between Merlin, Will, and Freya is warm and funny, providing extra little moments of humor and fun in an already lighthearted and enjoyable story. From start to finish it's an engaging read that just might give you the urge to visit your local Ren Fest.

Camelot

Occupy Camelot by stagarden (NC-17)

  • Mar. 4th, 2014 at 8:52 PM
Title: Occupy Camelot
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
Categories: Canon AU, humor, drama, romance
Length: Epic (41,762 words)
Warnings: None

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] stagarden
Author Website: favicon stagarden

Author's Summary:
After Arthur promises the spirit of the Druid boy who possessed Sir Elyan to treat the Druids with the respect they deserve, he is soon put to the test. A large group of Druid protesters shows up in his courtyard to demand that he honor that promise, and they stage increasingly outrageous demonstrations to advance their agenda. Arthur is quickly drawn to their leader, Merlin. A story based loosely on the “Occupy Wall Street” protests in Manhattan.

Review:
This is an absolutely delightful story. On the surface, it might seem odd to combine canon-era Merlin with the Occupy movement, but it works. It really, really works.

I really loved the equanimity with which Arthur approached the protest, no matter how obnoxious or obscene it became. Even when the protestors' skits portrayed him negatively - a false king kicking a sorcerer in the arse or striking a woman, for example, Arthur kept his cool and demonstrated the kind of Kingship I like to see.

He is clearly smitten with Merlin from the first glance, and the way the relationship between them evolved was absolutely lovely and sweet. Despite Merlin's position as a part of a protest against him, Arthur showed Merlin kindness and care, and even offered advice on how to deal with some of the problems that inevitably come up with communal outdoor living. There are so many little details here that the author handled with aplomb -- the way that the group functioned as a collective, the challenges that come with trying to get everyone to do their part, the committees, the mission statement...it was all so well executed.

While there are anachronisms aplenty, they never felt jarring. The author took the concepts associated with the modern Occupy movement and translated them to the Merlin setting perfectly, crafting a story that is both thoughtful and entertaining.

Occupy Camelot
Title: Blue Would Still Be Blue
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
Categories: Age difference, angst, romance, drama, harlequin, modern AU
Length: Long (32,376 words)
Warnings: Unsafe sex

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] winterstorrm
Author Website: Winterstorrm

Author's Summary:
When widower Arthur Pendragon finds out that his three children have conspired to help him find 'someone to kiss' by placing an ad on an internet dating site, he allows his guilt to push him into agreeing to go on a succession of dates even though he's determined that he's not lonely and doesn't believe in 'love'. However, someone does set his heart racing, but it's not one of the endless parade of beautiful women he has to choose from, it's the children's new babysitter, Merlin.

Review:
I have a deep, abiding love for romance novels, and Harlequin-themed fanfiction is like the perfect intersection between my favorite book genre and the fandom(s) I love. There is no better example of this than Blue Would Still Be Blue.

This is a story about second chances. Arthur has never felt that spark, that feeling of being deeply in love. He loved the mother of his children, but not in that passionate, all-consuming way. "Love is just nature's illusion," Arthur says. He doesn't believe in romantic love because he's never experienced it.

While the attraction between Arthur and Merlin is immediate, the obstacles to their future happiness (which are mostly Arthur’s doing) result in a slow build with longing looks and lovely pining and UST. The feelings between them are so intense, and so beautifully drawn. I was really moved by how desperately they wanted each other, how they ached for one another and how miserable they were not to have the kind of relationship they both so obviously wanted.

While Arthur, Merlin and their Happily Ever After (the required ending to any Harlequin style story, of course) is the main focus here, the supporting characters were charming and funny. From the parade of women to Arthur's children to Morgana, there were lighthearted moments aplenty to serve as the perfect foil to the slow burn between Arthur and Merlin.

Blue Would Still Be Blue

Being with You by ella_bane (NC-17)

  • Feb. 11th, 2014 at 7:08 AM
Title: Being with You
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin, brief non-explicit Arthur/Sophia
Categories: Modern AU, angst, drama, first time, romance
Length: Medium (12,572)
Warnings: None

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] ella_bane
Author Website: ella_bane

Author’s Summary:
Modern AU. Merlin is gay. Arthur isn't. When they meet, their mutual attraction can't be denied. But then it is. Sexy times and angsty times ensue. And it all happens in less than a day. (This was written for a prompt on the Merlin kink meme.)

Review:
This story grabbed me right at the start. The connection between Arthur and Merlin is so intense, so immediate and clear from the very first word, and the tension between them builds perfectly as they contend with the unexpected deep attraction they feel to one another.

A small part of me wanted Merlin to be a little more patient with Arthur, who is understandably somewhat perplexed by the experience of being attracted to another man for the first time in his life. But I think it's understandable that this Merlin has no interest in getting involved in the oft-romanticized secret relationship that he has every reason to believe might ensue based on Arthur's behavior. While I do enjoy secret relationship fics, it was interesting to see Merlin standing firm that he won't go back into the closet for anyone, not even Arthur.

Featuring a sexy, strong-willed Merlin who knows what he wants (and doesn't want), an Arthur who wants Merlin so badly he can't stand it, and tons of scorching hot chemistry, a little angst and a happy ending all in one day, Being with You is not to be missed.

Being with You

Profile

epic_recs: (Default)
[community profile] epic_recs
Epic Recs

Length Guidelines

Short: under 2,000 words
Medium: 2,000-15,000 words
Long: 15,000-40,000 words
Epic: 40,000-100,000 words
Super Epic: 100,000+ words

Tags

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios
Designed by [personal profile] chasethestars