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Fic rec: The Student Prince

  • 10th Jul, 2010 at 12:40 PM
The Student Prince by pandarus
Merlin/Arthur, Merlin, 35 chapters, NC-17
Summary: A Merlin modern-day AU set at St Andrews University

where do i even start? first of all, it's right up there with Drastically Redefining Protocol, Accidental Memory in the Case of Death, Defenders of the Realm, and We're a Storm in Somebody Else's Teacup in the epic fic category. it harks back to the days when people posted longass chaptered fics on fiction archives rather than novellas in parts on their livejournals.

the plot isn't anything groundbreaking: merlin is a poor student from cardiff who goes to st andrews to learn how to control his extraordinary magic (which is a secret), arthur is the prince of wales who, coincidentally, is also a first year at st andrews. they end up as roommates, and after getting off to a bad start, become reluctant friends. while they struggle through relationship and friendship drama, merlin has to protect arthur from magical enemies who want to harm him without revealing himself. basically, it's like the series was transplanted in some small college town in scotland.

the best thing about the fic, though, is all the little details. the author is really an unbelievable writer. she wrote the entire thing in five weeks and posted a chapter a day. everything -- the setting descriptions, the action, the dialogue -- could not have been more realistic. some of the monologues towards the end are just fantastic (arthur gives a speech that legitimately made me burst out in tears). the characters are flawless. all of them, from gwen to arthur's bodyguards to the dragon in the door, have distinct, complex personalities. i've fallen in love with each and every one of them, and i honestly can't see myself ever reading a merlin fic the same way now that i have these versions of the characters stuck in my head. merlin and arthur are spot on -- merlin's dry humour and struggles to do the right thing and arthur's stubborn pride and courage are so believable. it's really remarkable how easy it was to slip into this 'verse and live there for a few hours.

this is one of those rare fics that i think everyone, regardless of whether they like or even know of merlin, should read. the world is so comprehensive that you don't really need backstory to understand what's going on, but more than that, there are messages -- about loyalty, and family, and coming out, and making the right choices -- that are relevant to everyone's lives. so PLEASE do yourself a favour and go read this fic, because more people need to know it exists!


( 2 — Speak )
cassie_black12 wrote:
10th Jul, 2010 16:27 (UTC)
I completely agree with all of this! Just finished the last chapter, and I loved every single minute of this story. Both Uther's and Arthur's speeches had me cheering them like a mad thing *g*
pannymoomins wrote:
11th Jul, 2010 08:12 (UTC)
Well I wasn't sure about it as I'm not a huge fan of AUs but after this rec I will definitely be giving it a chance. Just need to find the time to do so now! :D
( 2 — Speak )