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Fan Fic: The Fledgling Year
uploaded as the fic’s official cover art on the host site
. (The cutoff text is the fic’s listed summary.)
A WIP Chronicles of Narnia
fanfiction, set a few years after The Horse and His Boy
Cor, now of age and first in line to the throne of Archenland, must set out on his “fledgling year”, a twelve-month period in which he and a small entourage tour the country in disguise so that Cor can learn about his people. Aravis comes along, ostensibly to find him a suitable bride. Dragons, assassins, political intrigue, and lots of Unresolved Sexual Tension
Does a remarkable job of balancing the adventure and romance plots and keeping them both well-hooked. Extremely well-written, with solid World Building
, heaps of Character Development
, and a good splash of well-placed dry humor.
It can be found here
. As of November 2013 it has 70 chapters and some 1200 reviews, making it by far the biggest Cor/Aravis fic on the site.
Be warned, however; the story undergoes both a serious Genre Shift
and Cerebus Syndrome
around Chapter 50; trigger warnings for a scene of Attempted Rape
in Chapter 66 and serious exploration of the resulting trauma.
The Fledgling Year provides examples of:
- 100% Adoration Rating: Notably averted—even though in the original canon everyone seems to love King Lune and the royal family, a major portion of the plot in this fanfic revolves around a conspiracy to kill them off.
- Action Girl: Aravis, though several female characters have or develop fighting skills to some degree.
- Action Pet: Inga, Aravis’ belligerent horse, takes out her fair share of bad guys and is revealed to be a sapient Narnian in chapter 67. Done a little bit with some of the other horses, such as Cor’s stallion Raider. Humorously averted with Corin’s “pretty little mare”.
- Assassins: Have come up a few times, most notably when Gyneth turns out to be one gunning for Cor.
- Attempted Rape: In chapter 66, Khurshid almost succeeds in forcing himself on Aravis; she kills him with before he can carry it through.
- Badass Beard: The twins each grow one during the journey; only Cor’s is deemed badass enough to keep when Aravis is doling out haircuts.
- Battle Couple: They aren’t an Official Couple (yet), but Cor and Aravis fall under this trope as friends.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Cor and Aravis, naturally (though they start out as Vitriolic Best Buds). Corin and Hana to a lesser degree. Absolutely relentless, which makes sense given the only sentence in HHB that explicitly canonizes Cor and Aravis’ romance note
- Beta Couple: Corin/Hana. Notable for getting almost as much attention in reviews as Cor/Aravis.
- Brainless Beauty: Ragna.
- Brutal Honesty: Hana has to pull this out on Aravis on several occasions. Most notable is when Aravis accused her of only wanting to be friends because of the social advantages, after which Hana promptly corrected Aravis’ misconceptions about herself.
- Cannot Spit It Out: As of the chapters numbered in the 50s, this is the point the Ship Tease has reached— both Cor and Aravis are in love and they’re not the only ones who know it, but they keep compounding excuses not to admit it to each other.
- Cerebus Syndrome: The fic gets much darker around the 50th chapter or so, and most of the storyline after Chapter 60 (so far) focuses on Aravis recovering from her Near-Rape Experience.
- Chivalric Romance: Because the protagonists are at their core noble heroes wandering through Archenland (sometimes) in disguise, many elements of this genre are prominent in this fic, but are generally Downplayed and Deconstructed rather than romanticized.
- The Consigliere: Aravis to Cor (though sometimes subverted when her temper gets the better of her sage advice, and sometimes he’s very princely and uses sound judgment on his own). Later on, Hana usually falls into this role for Aravis.
- The Conspiracy: The Finii, an as-yet only loosely developed organization who appear to be bent on paring down the royal line to put a distant cousin on the throne.
- Continuation Fic
- Damsel out of Distress: Aravis occasionally needs saving by the men of their entourage, but no one doubts she’s a canny, capable swordswoman and able to take care of herself.
- Deuteragonist: Cor, foiling Aravis as the Protagonist.
- Distressed Dude: Cor goes missing in chapter 44 and Aravis sets out to rescue him, having guessed he’s been Made a Slave.
- Everyone Can See It: Aravis and Cor keep avoiding admitting their feelings for each other, but the reason most of Cor’s potential brides haven’t made themselves a nuisance is because he and Aravis are so close. Hana doesn’t shy away from outright stating she thinks Aravis will be Archenland’s future queen, and tells Aravis to stop being ridiculous whenever she brings up the idea of anyone else marrying Cor.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Corin and Cor, respectively.
- Honey Trap / Love Interest Traitor: Gyneth turns out to be one of the Finii, and an assassin bent on killing Aravis and probably Cor. It’s heavily implied that she planned to seduce and marry the prince before bumping him off.
- Identical Twin ID Tag: Aravis often notes little ways that she can tell Cor and Corin apart visually, such as their freckles and slightly different haircuts. She notes in chapter 56 that Corin has always been stockier than Cor, but has been “trimmed down” by all the time in the saddle, giving him a slimmer build and prominent cheekbones similar to Cor’s.
- The Infiltration: Aravis must pass herself off as a wealthy Calormen Tarkheena looking to a buy a slave in order to rescue Cor from his kidnappers in chapters 48-49.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons
- Made a Slave: Cor during his disappearance in chapters 45-50.
- Memento MacGuffin: The book of fairy tales which Cor makes for Aravis.
- Obvious Judas: In-universe: Aravis distrusts Gyneth from the very beginning; she—and, vicariously the audience— expects the eventual Face-Heel Turn, but none of the other characters are suspicious.
- Official Couple: Cor/Aravis, as per Lewis’ original canon. Or at least, the author promises they will be eventually.
- One of the Boys: In regards to her relationship with the princes, Aravis flips between this and someone they seem to think is fragile and in need of manly protection, even though she’s generally very capable.
- Original Character: Many of them, as can be expected of a fic of this scope; canon characters are actually very sparingly and strategically placed. Especially notable is Hana, since she is half of the Beta Couple.
- Poison Is Evil / Poisoned Weapon: This is Gyneth’s chosen method for her planned assassination of Cor.
- Proper Lady / Silk Hiding Steel: Aravis when she’s in Tarkheena mode.
- Romantic False Lead: Darrin for Aravis, briefly.
- The Runaway: Corin stows away with Cor’s entourage, though it isn’t brought up as a problem until much later.
- Scars Are Forever: Lots. Aside from the canon scars that Cor and Aravis are mentioned to have, many of the characters acquire new ones over the course of their journey. At one point, Aravis jokes that Cor has acquired “a monopoly on the market of roguish facial scars.”
- Shipper on Deck: Hana doesn’t hesitate to say she thinks Aravis ought to marry Cor.
- Aravis occasionally comments that Hana or Janey should marry Cor, but her heart isn’t really in it.
- Shout-Out: There are a few to Doctor Who.
“She is fire and ice and rage and she will burn the hearts out of you all—“
- Shrinking Violet: Hana starts out as one, but is steadily growing out of it via her friendship with Aravis.
- Spirited Young Lady: Aravis, Janey.
- Tap on the Head: Subverted to play for realism—whenever a character is knocked unconscious by a blow to the head, they’re typically only out for a moment (the exception being when Aravis falls off a cliff in chapter 54), and usually don’t suffer any permanent damage. The common version of this trope, the “knockout punch” to the jaw, is averted and then lampshaded by Cor:
Cor: “… I barely had time to put my hands up when one of them hit me in the jaw—I could tell they were only common thugs, since even I know not to punch the face. He fell back yelping about his knuckles …"
- Tell Him I'm Not Speaking to Him: Comes up periodically when Cor and Aravis, or Cor and Corin, are in a long-term argument. The two arguing parties usually recruit the third party (or occasionally Hana) as a go-between. Lampshaded by Aravis at one point when she’s playing the middleman.
- The Tourney: The princes participate in one early on.
- Unfamiliar Ceiling: Happens to Cor and Aravis each, on multiple occasions, such as after Aravis falls off a cliff in chapter 54, or Cor recovers from his fever after being rescued from the slavers.
- Unwanted Harem: Though Cor occasionally takes a shine to one of the girls who joins his entourage as a potential future queen, he isn’t exactly raring to propose to one of them. Aravis usually has to coax him into bringing them along.
- Waking Up Elsewhere: Has happened to Aravis several times, often due to Tap on the Head.
- Whip It Good: The slavers in chapter 49 subdue their victims with a bullwhip.
- Will They or Won't They?: Cor and Aravis again, and Corin and Hana in the background.