The NaNoWriMo novel for 2010 by VVK, still needing some serious finishing touches. The plot revolves around a reconstruction or deconstruction or both of the trope Standard Hero Reward. When an old king, cunning going on senile, decides to actually reward the passing Barbarian Hero this way as part of a Gambit Roulette meant to wrest power back from the court advisors and politicians to the royal family, his court is thrown into a chaos of plotting, and just about everyone is equally clueless about how to deal with the situation — certainly including Tadron, the hero, himself. Assumed an ignorant barbarian by everyone, Tadron soon demonstrates considerable Hidden Depths that might actually enable him to survive the situation, in spite of the constant plotting to oust him by Court Chancellor Visconi, who's not keen on giving up his position as the de facto ruler. But it turns out there is a perhaps even greater threat out there — Neidzel, a jealous old rival of Tadron's, is disinclined to let him have a kingdom so easily, and prepares to take it for himself by means he considers more appropriate for acquiring the crown: war.
Some other characters of note include Princess Danina, who was admittedly expecting an arranged marriage anyway, but is decidedly un-thrilled about this one; Prince Traven, who is to inherit the crown (or now half of it, as it were) and is perceived as very weak ruler material; Helma, Berc and Kelen, Tadron's adventuring companions; and Count Geral, a co-conspirator of Visconi's.
(To be finished later.)