Monday, July 31, 2017

Fanfiction round-up, July 2017

I had two fics that pretty much absorbed me during July, to the detriment of my reading list (and I have a helluva lot of catching up to do for my regular subscriptions and favourites)… But here are two longer-form fics that I think are well worth the read… and my honest, unbiased opinion about them while we’re at it.

I’ve been reading Saarebitch’s Exalted (part 2 of the Death and the Maiden series that starts with Birthright for a while now. It’s long, convoluted, and while the writing isn’t perfect (they have a tendency of writing redundant constructions and sometimes the pacing flags) but I’m totally blown away by the depth and the breadth of the intrigue they manage to weave into the story. We follow the struggles of Elain Lavellan, the Maiden of the Hunt of Clan Lavellan, and how her ambitions cause her to damage all those around her (and herself). Her friend Sa’reen is the Inquisitor in this setting, so sometimes we slip to her point of view. This is very much a tale of how the elven people are fighting to reclaim their past glories, and is centred on the conflict in Wycombe. What I especially love is the way characters experience conflict in dialogue. Saarebitch is brilliant in this sense. However, be warned, the chapters are long (anywhere between 4k to 8k at a pop) so you’re going to have *a lot* of reading. I’d say this story is like the Game of Thrones of Dragon Age fanfics. I suspect I’ve been reading the updates to this one for more than a year.

The fic that kept me busy for most of July was Mind Games by ThirdPretender. It’s still a WiP, and it's a slow burn for those of us who’re unrepentant Solasmancers, and the writer dishes out plenty of unghhghhhghghghhh. I will say that I’m a bit over blow-by-blow re-envisionings of Inquisition, but ThirdPretender offers up fresh insights, and the extra-fun angle where the narrator is sucked into the game through a manky kind of new-fangled VR, turning this into a portal fantasy too, with Emily/Ellana getting into all sorts of trouble when player knowledge affects character knowledge. Also, the writing’s pretty schweet too, pacing is excellent, and the story keeps me going on to the next chapter. Some *lovely* dialogue going on and a squidge more depth to this fic than your run-of-the-mill stories out there. I’ve subscribed, and I hope to see this story go through to the end.

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