coprime_recs: Chouji and Shikamaru on a roof cloud-watching (Default)
The Cinder-Fellow (OMC/OMC | G | 11,171 words): This is a wonderful retelling of the Cinderella story with a male Cinderella named Allen. It's sweet and romantic with a dash of light-hearted whimsy that just makes it a joy to read. It's also a crossover with Mercedes Lackey's Five Hundred Kingdoms, but I was able to read and understand the story just fine without any knowledge of the Five Hundred Kingdoms series. (Probably if you are familiar with that series though, it will make this story even more delightful.)

Excerpt:
The Ella Cinders looked critically at herself in the mirror, and Elena looked critically at her. Under the smudges, which the girl was dabbing at with her moistened sleeves, she was – not exactly beautiful. By no means was she ugly, of course – the Tradition would not have an ugly Ella Cinders – but her nose was a bit sharp, her cheekbones a bit prominent, her chin a bit strong for what was considered beauty anywhere in the Five Hundred Kingdoms.

Then the girl went over to the hedges at the side of the yard, lifted her skirts, and....

"Oh, dear," said Godmother Elena.

"Exactly," said Randolf, returning to the mirror. "As I said, we have a problem."

"You're certainly right about that," murmured Elena. No wonder the Tradition was all riled up! How had Godmother Bella missed this essential fact about this Ella Cinders? And what was she supposed to do with a...with a Cinder-Fellow?
coprime_recs: Chouji and Shikamaru on a roof cloud-watching (Default)
Unexpected (Hephaestus/Dionysus | PG | 1,600 words) is Hephaestus and Dionysus. This is not a pairing I would have ever thought of, but the story builds up to it slowly. Lovely language too.

Excerpt:
Dionysus shrugged. "I find your work fascinating as it is so different from my own. You helpers are silent and loyal; you have no one to please but yourself. It is more than a little enviable."

Hephaestus did not know what to make of the other's candour. "You may stay then, and are welcome to what you peace you can find here," he said.

Dionysus smiled in response and lay back on the kline. Appropriately enough, he looked like an invitation to debauchery. Dark golden blond curls fell onto his forehead and long, slimly muscled legs stretched out on the couch. He watched Hephaestus with a look that seemed half interested and half flirtatious. Hephaestus was unsure how much of his demeanour was artifice and how much was the way Dionysus simply was.
coprime_recs: Chouji and Shikamaru on a roof cloud-watching (Default)
Retelling :: The Aftermaths to Happily Ever After (various | PG13 | 591 words) extends several classic fairy tales past "happily ever after" and shows that nothing can last forever. It's creepy and feels like this is how these stories really should have ended.

Excerpt:
The Frog Prince
Despite his magical metamorphosis, the Frog Prince is still amphibious. The skin of his palms cracks and bleeds in the dry winter air and every time he licks his chapped lips, he tastes blood.
coprime_recs: Chouji and Shikamaru on a roof cloud-watching (Default)
Sunblind (Icarus/Helios | PG | 370 words) is about Icarus. It feels like it could be a Greek myth, and I love it so very, very much. Greek mythology is lovely in the hands of someone who understands it.

Excerpt:
When I was a child I loved the sun, and my father, knowing this, told me never to look into it, for it would harm me. But one day I did. I tested him as all children test their parents' decrees, and because I could not bear not to look.
coprime_recs: Chouji and Shikamaru on a roof cloud-watching (Default)
Incomparably Cunning (Odysseus/Penelope | G | 1,255 words) is the story of how Odysseus and Penelope got together. One of the things I love about The Odyssey is how devoted Odysseus and Penelope are to each other, and this story shows why they make such a good match. Aww, they're aboslutely adorable.

Excerpt:
He watched the two girls for four days before deciding that Penelope was the one for him. Clytemnestra was rather too unbalanced, or so it seemed from where he stood: she glared daggers at Agamemnon when he drank the last of the winecask, and actually shouted at Diomedes for bad table manners. Also she once kicked a dog. Odysseus couldn't imagine life with her in Ithaca; either he or she would kill the other before the year was out. However, he could very happily imagine settling down with her cousin--he was surprised at just how happily. The more he watched Penelope, the more he appreciated her quiet intelligence (and sometimes outright wiliness). He was pleased with the skill with which she deflected the suitor's questions about Helen's intentions. She never lied outright, but kept hope alive in all of them so that Tyndareus made no enemies. It was, he thought, a trick almost worthy of himself.
coprime_recs: Chouji and Shikamaru on a roof cloud-watching (Default)
Sweetly and Steadily (Gawain/Green Knight | R | 11,228 words) is a rather radical retelling of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. And, oh, I like it. I'll admit that my enjoyment of the story is due in part to the fact that I am a slasher at heart. But the story works and evokes a similar sense of being lost in this world as the poem did when I originally read it. Plus there's a bit of gently poking fun at the classic medieval stereotypes.

Excerpt:
Time passed very quickly. As he moved through the changing seasons, Gawain felt a surge of panic. There was not enough time. He would never be able to cleanse himself, to meet the Green Knight with a pure heart. *Or at least with a clean mind*, he thought. And he wanted very much to be at peace with himself before he died.

To that end, he quit Camelot with two months to spare before his arranged meeting. He travelled slowly northwards, trying to think things through, and only becoming more confused, in between killing ogres and dragons and rescuing the occasional damsel from the occasional inaccessible tower. Travelling became the norm; the rhythm and logic of it gave him a wholly unreasonable sense of security, as if the journey would never end. There would always be a stony path, cold armor, the smell of Gringolet's damp mane, and another Wild Man waiting in ambush behind another rock.

The cold bit into his shoulders, hips and legs, and he began to feel that he would never be warm again. He had a vision of himself arriving at the meeting place with icicles in his hair and his joints frozen stiff, unable to move as the Green Knight drew nearer. It became a dream that recurred every night; every night the Green Knight came a little closer to him as he stood there-- *like a monument to foolishness*, he told himself when awake.
coprime_recs: Chouji and Shikamaru on a roof cloud-watching (Default)
Lubberkin (Rumplestiltskin | PG | 3,657 words) is a retelling of "Rumplestiltskin" from Rumplestiltskin's perspective. I am in awe at the creativity of this story; so amazingly well done. A wonderful look at greed and promises and the nature of gifts too.

Excerpt:
The king spoke bluntly to her. Spin all the straw in the room into gold by dawn, and she should go free. Fail, and her life would be forfeit. So saying, he swept from the room, and the girl collapsed to the floor, sobbing incoherently.

She did not sob prettily. Silver tears did not streak her cheeks, nor did a single pearl-like drop fall from one eye. No, she howled uncontrollably, her eyes reddening and her nose swelling.

It was dangerous to get involved with humans, I reminded myself. Humans tend to claim what they see as theirs by right, and many and many a one of the Faerie folk has been caught in their toils and ensnared forever.

But...I am a lubberkin. A house-servant. How could I not help a human? Especially this one, who had seen me, known me for what I was and begged for my help but a day before?

I materialized.

"Lubberkin!" she cried joyously, her tears drying in an instant. "Thank God that you've arrived!"