Shadowlord and the Pirate King by Footloose (fic), mushroomtale (art)
Word Count: 169,425
Rating: Explicit (there be sexy times, matey)
Written for Paperlegends 2013
A fast ship, a good crew, a treasure, a Clan to lead — that’s all Arthur Pendragon has ever wanted. He sits on the Council, he supports his father’s kingship, and he keeps an eye on the Imperial Conglomerate when they come too close to Pirate space.
One day the Conglomerate infiltrates the Clans and poisons the King. Arthur must search for a cure to keep his father alive and the Clans from civil war.
An escape route, a sharp knife, a target, the shadows at his command — that’s all Merlin has ever needed. He fulfills his assignments, he uses the Sterling to sustain his once-royal House in their exile, and wages a private war against the Imperial Conglomerate.
When he learns of an elaborate plot to assassinate him, Merlin does the opposite of what’s expected. He flees onto a Pirate ship.
There’s a saying among the Pirates: that one’s fate is written in the stars. Destiny will always set to rights what has been made wrong.
Arthur and Merlin know that they were meant for the other from the moment they meet. They can feel it from across the galaxies separating them. Nothing can stop them from being together or from fulfilling an ancient prophecy.
Pirate king? Ninjas? Space operas?
It shouldn’t work, but it does.
I’ve had this one on the to-read list for ages, but I always wavered. Can a fanfic really do a space opera without lending itself to the ridiculous? Can this AU do justice to the canon?
Yes, yes it can.
Footloose, who also wrote “We Are All Diamonds,” proves that she is a legitimate master of storytelling by once again compiling a series of tropes and themes that a sane writer would never put together, and making them bend to her will. The author weaves us a story of epic proportions involving assassins, conspiracies, space battles, and, of course, love. The end result is an adventure that proves that, no matter what, Merlin will always find his Arthur. This time, it’s written in the stars.
This one comes with my highest recommendation. Read it if you love Merthur.