schneefink: (FF River and Kaylee)
[personal profile] schneefink
As a distraction from the (partially justified) anxiety about all the things I should be doing, have a rec.

Friends Across Borders by [archiveofourown.org profile] MueraRashaye (Valdemar series)
316k, gen, canon-compliant & OC-centric, series in progress (9 stories completed + 1 WIP)
Summary: Two long-time enemy nations can't become meaningful allies overnight. Stories from the lives of a border-guard Herald and Sunpriest, from their first meeting to the end, and insights into just how Karse and Valdemar were able to turn around their relationship so fast.
What I knew about canon beforehand: In a country named Valdemar some people have special magical Gifts and they are soulbonded to magical white horses.
Why I love it: Enemies to friends <3 More precisely, technically-enemies to brothers on a personal scale leads to enemies to allies on a national scale. The friendship between Firestarter Kir and Herald Anur is so wonderful, and it's great to see the ripples they cause spread outwards. I also really like all the stuff about Karsite culture, cultural difference and culture change etc.; obviously I can't say how much of it is canon and how much is the author's own worldbuilding, but it's beautifully done. Kir also has a very nice atonement storyline.

I then decided to check out canon, which previously I'd only known through vaguely remembered crossovers/fusions with other fandoms (one with SGA and one with Rurouni Kenshin) that I read years ago. I knew that canon was about very different characters and even a different country, but I decided to at least try some books in the series, so I read the "Last Herald Mage" trilogy. It was… okay? I would have loved the books when I was fifteen. The plot was OTT dramatic several times, but sometimes I don't mind that very much. The romance in the first book made me roll my eyes a bit, but hey, teenagers. The second book was tough to get through at times because the portrayals of exhaustion of loneliness were very well done. In the third book he recovers a bit, but I'm not a big fan of the soulbond as portrayed here. At one point the description of "obviously soulbonded" sounded like it was just a big crush, and I didn't love the reincarnation thing either. I did really like the epilogue with Stefen.)
I liked the fic series a lot better than canon though, so after finishing the books I read the fic again (for the third time. What. And it is free! I love fandom.)

Date: 2017-07-16 10:48 pm (UTC)
marginaliana: Buddy the dog carries Bobo the toy (Default)
From: [personal profile] marginaliana
Ooooh, this sounds really fascinating. Thanks for reccing it - I'm definitely going to check it out.

And yeah, the canon is definitely best experienced in the 13-15 age range! They are all pretty OTT so you're not missing much by sticking to fandom unless you encounter something where canon knowledge is really necessary.

Date: 2017-07-17 05:01 am (UTC)
out_there: B-Day Present '05 (Default)
From: [personal profile] out_there
*laughs* Yes, those books were definitely suited to a 17 y.o. me. I liked them well enough at that age -- and probably would have loved them at 15 y.o. (it was a year of Anne Rice, Jane Austen, VC Andrews and Terry Pratchett. Only two of those authors have remained favourites as I've grown older.)

Having said that, though, wow, that is a big word count. And too much to commit to right now, even if the fic series is vastly better than the books. (Which I can believe.)

Date: 2017-07-17 12:27 pm (UTC)
cephy: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cephy
"I would have loved it when I was 15" is probably the best description of that entire franchise. I mean, I did love it when I was 15, quite a lot, so. ^_^

Date: 2017-07-17 09:22 pm (UTC)
cephy: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cephy
So true. Some things are best left as nostalgia, I guess.

Date: 2017-07-18 12:32 am (UTC)
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
From: [personal profile] beatrice_otter
I loved the Valdemar series as a teen! And then I grew up. They are like perfect awesomesauce for dramatic teens, but not in a way that is conducive to adult enjoyment.

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