Fanfic Recs: Tortall Universe
Proof that the remaining 10% is worth entering the Black God's embrace for
These are recommendations made by Tropers for Tortall Universe
fanfics (meaning, those set in the universe outlined by the Alanna/Daine/Kel/Aly/Beka series of novels), all of which have to be signed to stay on the page. Feel free to add a fanfic of your own to the list, but remember to use the template found here
. This is specifically for Tortall Universe fics, not Tamora Pierce
fanfics in general. Circle of Magic
fics should be placed on their own page.
You can also add to the current recommendations if you want. Refrain from posting Conversation in the Main Page
though; that goes in the discussion page.
Authors and Websites
Stories focused on the family and the friendly relationships of the cast. Plot-focused stories or light day-in-the-life stories. Pretty much anything that isn't focused on romance.
Lady Knight Volant (alternate AO3 link here)
We Live In Awkward Times, My Friend
- Synopsis: Continues Lady Knight to the end of the Scanran War. K/D eventually. A long novel of action and manners, completely written, updating Fridays.
- Recommended by: tonnocal, Rose And Heather, Heliomance
- Comments: whew! One of those stories you stay up until 6AM reading for the world building loves. A mature and well-rounded view of the realities of the magi-medieval world built by Tamora Pierce, with some very interesting analysis of religion and gender discourses. One of the personal criticisms I have regarding Tamora Pierce is that her characters are, true to genre, written for teenagers and their weaknesses are acknowledged but not fully played out. This flays off the last vestiges of the Mary Sue from the characters. YMMV, regarding the triggers and the political structuring, but all together worth the lost sleep. Only criticism is that Kel is cast as a bit too egalitarian and 'of the people', but that's true to canon. Relationships are present, but are way off in the background except where they compliment and further the plot and character development. Compare with Raining Ink's Out Of the Night and Vathara's Embers.
- ENTHUSIASTICALLY SECONDED. I actually forgot I wasn't reading a Pierce novel, albeit a Pierce novel intended for a more mature audience than her usual. Characterization is pretty much perfect and the plot is staggeringly complex and comes together beautifully. There are many sequel fics to Lady Knight but this one outdoes them all.
- Heliomance: If you read and enjoyed the Tortall books, read this. No excuses, no exceptions. The author managed to capture Pierce's style so well I regularly forgot it wasn't canon, and he's managed to make the world even richer and deeper than Pierce has. So many details - especially to do with the gods - are expanded upon, all while staying beautifully, faithfully true to the source material. Character voices are near-perfect, in-universe slang seamlessly used, and all in all it's one of the best fanfics it's ever been my pleasure to read. Should be canon.
- Geekhyena: STRONG YMMV here. The rape felt really out of place and felt like the author was adding it in to add more drama, and Kel's reactions to it as well as the reactions of everyone else were quite out of character. Serious trigger warning for sexual assault and gore, and in such a way that it feels out of place in Tamora Pierce's universe.
by Rockstar With a Vendetta
Broken to Bridle
- Reccomended by Thinks Too Much
- Synopsis: A series of mutually exclusive oneshots, wherein Kel is engaged in relations of a sexual nature with someone and her friends, through a variety of incredibly embarrassing but possible circumstances, discover the existence of these relations. Due to all of it being Played for Laughs rather than focus on shipping, I'm putting it in Gen Fic, but the pairings are Kel/Merric, Kel/Seaver , Kel/Thom (the second), and Kel/Numair/Daine.
- Comments: CMOF-laden and in-character, especially Neal. Well worth a look.
Five Worlds In Which Keladry of Mindelan Did Not Become a Lady Knight
- Recommended by Across The Stars
- Pairing(s): Owen of Jesslaw/Margarry of Cavall
- Synopsis: The tale of Owen's years as a squire to Wyldon of Cavall.
- Comments: This is... really good. Like, really, really good. The writing itself is thoroughly competent - although not spectacular - and keeps the same general tone of other Protector of the Small books. The real attraction, however, are the characters. She brings Wyldon and Owen to life so very vividly, managing to convey Wyldon's general approval of Owen as he matures while still keeping him the irascible man most of us loved in the original quartet. Scanra is dealt with believably, and the relationship between Owen and Wyldon develops organically, which in itself is a miracle. Also well done is Owen's journey to adulthood and growing maturity while still keeping him recognizable as the Owen we saw in the books, and equally well done is Owen's romance with Wyldon's daughter Margarry (mentioned via Word of Tamora Pierce to have married him). Although their romance is an important part of the plot, it does not overtake the main storyline, hence the classification of this story as gen. In short: this is not to be missed for anyone who loved Owen, Wyldon, or both.
- Geekhyena: One of the best Tortall fics I have ever read. Owen is spot-on, and his relationship with Wyldon is fleshed out beautifully. Nice perspective on the events of Lady Knight, as well, and Owen's internal conflicts. Also very interesting discussion of the effects of war on people. Highly recommended.
, by mistresscarlet
- Recommended by Joysweeper
- Synopsis: Exactly What It Says on the Tin. There's a framing device set in the future of the canon universe, when Kel is forty and is the training master. In one world, Wyldon didn't let her stay and she became a Shang warrior; in another, she was found to have the Gift and never went to the Yamani Islands; in the third, Kel was born a man; in the fourth, she died young and her brother Conal tried to take up her task; and in the fifth, she was raised as a lady.
- Comments: Typically I hate five worlds/five times X happened/didn't happen fics, but this was good. Tearjerker moments all around. "Things that never were and will never come to pass. Some good, and some terrible, but none of them now and none of them here."
, by sarcastic rabbit
Welcome to Knight Club
- Recommended by starryblue
- Synopsis: A day in the life of King Jonathan in which he meets a certain juggling black mage from Carthak
- Comments: The summary listed on ff.net doesn't really do this story justice. A well-written and humorous take on the day Numair and King Jonathan met from the perspective of the King.
by Quatre Sama.
- Recc'd by Joysweeper
- Synopsis: Written as a challenge: describe a squire's Ordeal in 800 words. It's a series of drabbles, loosely arranged around the eight rules of Fight Club.
- Comments: Despite how it sounds, it's entirely serious. I enjoyed it. Had to fetch it from archive.org, though.
- Recently found on fanfiction.net with a new link to match that.
Song of the Seer
- Recommended by Flyndragon, Reads-By-Lamplight
- Pairing(s): Kel/Dom
- Synopsis: Kicked out of Page training, Kel becomes entangled in a bitter struggle for the suffering people of Scanra. Four years later she returns to Tortall, a stranger to those who once knew her, a stranger who has not forgotten the promises she made...
- Comments: This is probably the very best fanfiction I have ever read. It is a take on what would happen if Kel was kicked out of page training after her first year. Kel goes through hardship and eventually overcomes it, becoming a warrior and becoming inextricably entangled in the fate of Scanra. This is a story written on a professional level, with great character development and a thick, engaging plot. It also does a very good job of world building, fleshing out Scanra more than we ever see in the books. But be warned, it is very long. Don't start reading this unless you have time to spare.
Making the Best of Things universe
- Recommended by Kestrad
- Pairing(s): Alanna/Jon, Alanna/Roger, Thom/Liam, Thayet/Buri
- Synopsis: What if Thom had refused to switch?
- Comments: Told from Thom's point of view, this is so much more than the standard Alanna Goes to the Convent story. A hauntingly beautiful take on what the Tortall universe could have been like if Thom hadn't agreed to switch with Alanna. Quite possibly the best piece of fanfiction I've ever read.
by Ankhiale (again)
Stories focused on the romantic relationships between the cast.
- Recommended by Kaza999
- Pairing(s): Alanna/Francis, Alanna/Jon, Jon/Thom, Delia/Thom, Jon/Thayat, others
- Synopsis: Alanna and Thom don't switch. Things go...rather weirdly.
- Comments: According to Ankhiale, this was born from a reread of Song of the Seer (above), and Ankhiale decided that they could make the universe go better, and they succeeded. Making the Best of Things is a series of fics, mostly oneshots, and they are all quite excellent. This series isn't nearly as bleak as Song of the Seer, but is written just as well.
, by beckyh2112
- Recc'd by Joysweeper
- Synopsis: Stormwings are infuriating, Daine is exhausted, and holding back takes too much effort.
- Pairing: Daine/Rikash
, by Loten
Seducing Master Salmalin
- Recommended by Sorrows Solace
- Synopsis: A redux of the Immortals series from Numair's point of view.
- Comments: The best Numair writing I've seen, all the characters are written accurately, some are fleshed out and the story flows well. The writing's top notch and the author clearly knows the characters and world well, anything new added in for other one shots on Loten's profile are well thought out.
- Loten also has reduxes of Wolf-Speaker, Emperor Mage, and The Realms of the Gods completed in similiar good quality, a set of drabbles filling in holes left by the author, and a story about Numiar and Daine after the end of the series. Pretty much anything by her is good.
- Pairing: Numair/Daine
, by Wild Magelet
Negotiations and Love Songs
- Reccommended by tenoreyequetis
- Sypnosis: A sweet and funny "Daine/Numair first time" fic. Rated T, for obvious reasons.
- Comments: Manages to be romantic without becoming mushy, gooey, or just ridiculous in general like some of its sister and brother fics. Quite a few lines that made me smile, or laugh, as well.
- Pairing: Same as above.
- Recommended by Rose And Heather
- Synopsis: How Lord Wyldon of Cavall met and fell in love with his wife Vivenne during the Tusaine War.
- Comments: Adorable. Absolutely adorable. Wyldon's warm heart is easily visible here, without losing the traits that make him the character he was in the novels.
- Pairing: Wyldon/Vivenne