I rarely read Star Wars fanfic, and I can't quite remember how I found this one (if someone recced this to me, thank you!) But a few days ago I found one with an intriguing premise that got steadily better, and the last few chapters had me so excited I kept having to stop to calm down.Son of Suns
, a Star Wars trilogy by blank101:
1) Into the Storm
2) In Shadows and Darkness
3) At the Brink of the Dawn and the Darkness
735,000 words total
It goes AU from the end of "The Empire Strikes Back": what if Vader had captured the Falcon on their flight from Bespin? Things go very, very wrong.
First, a warning: These stories are dark. They have detailed descriptions of many forms of torture and also include a lot of violence, manipulations, betrayal, and hopelessness. Even if you like h/c, this trilogy is heavy on the hurt and doesn't offer much comfort. Mild spoiler for the ending: It does have a mostly happy ending. There's a lot of permanent damage, of course, but overall it gets better. I was almost shouting in triumph.
It also has amazing characters, each one of them trying to either survive or to gain power, and many of them struggling with feelings that are getting in their way. Characters faced with inner conflicts they don't know how to handle, characters making wrong choices that have disastrous consequences, characters breaking and put back together, adapting, developing, changing and raising to challenges. I only know some of the Star Wars extended universe, so I wasn't always sure who was an OC and who from the extended canon, but all characters were fully developed and alive and made me root for them (except Palpatine.)
Another thing the trilogy does extremely well is politics. Have you ever wondered how the rebels managed to install peace and security in the Empire after Palpatine's death, about the allegiance of the military and the Court and the distant planets? The author of these stories has, in detail, and they managed to make all the complicated power games and conspiracies fascinating.
I won't give the summaries for each of the stories because they include spoilers, and that's another thing I very much enjoyed: I never knew what was going to happen. I didn't anticipate the plot twists (a few paragraphs in advance at the most) even though I read multiple POVs and some of them I felt I really should have. I was never sure how it was going to end and the actual ending was always better than what I had in mind.
If you don't mind dark stories, if you like good character development and galactic scale politics, (and if you have a lot of spare time,) you should read this fic.