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Fanfic / Shadow of the Dragon King

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Shadow of the Dragon King is a prequel fic to Avatar: The Last Airbender by Lunatique focusing on Zuko's banishment and the politics behind it. It is very well written, with great grammar and spelling, as well as a healthy dose of World Building of the Fire Nation.

Author's summary: In the months before Zuko's exile, he and Azula are locked in a battle of wills for the soul of a nation. Lives are caught in the crossfire, and the Fire Nation will be changed forever. An in-depth look behind Zuko's exile, sequel to "The Alternative."

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Tropes Found in this Fic:

  • Abusive Parents: Sa Ye's father. Also Ozai.
  • Action Girl: Ming, Cheng and Yenzi. Sa Ye is a non-violent example.
  • A Father to His Men: Captain Ji, as he's one of them, and not some noble dumped into their laps.
  • The Alcoholic: Sa Ye's father.
  • All There in the Manual: A lot of things not mentioned in-series can be read on the author's LiveJournal.
  • The Archer: Lijin, eventually.
  • Ascended Extra: Ming among other minor characters.
  • Badass Normal: Shun and Cheng, among others.
  • Balcony Speech: Zuko has one, though the 'balcony' is improvised.
  • Benevolent Conspiracy: The Order of the White Lotus
  • Big Damn Heroes: Jeong Myeong and his men.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Shun Li's real name, Kuo Min. It means 'the people' in Chinese. It is seen being used in the Taiwanese political party Kuomintang, meaning People's Party.
  • Break the Cutie: Zuko, dear Zuko.
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    • Also Lijin, Yenzi's younger brother.
  • Cain and Abel: Zuko and Azula. Apparently this relationship was here even when they were thirteen and eleven respectively.
  • The Chessmaster: Multiple in the story.
    • To people, Zuko seems like one, though it's mostly on accident and through sheer luck.
    • The Order of the White Lotus when they engineered nation-wide protests to save Zuko's life after the Agni Kai.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Yenzi's forgebending comes in handy later.
  • Cool Big Sis: Ming is this to Yenzi.
  • Cool Old Guy: Elder Lao Tai.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Zuko invokes it for Sa Ye's kid, but she averts it.
  • Deadly Decadent Court: The Fire Nation court is a not a nice place to be.
  • Death Faked for You: Inverted. Sa Ye writes to Khoujin's father, saying that he's on Zuko's ship as to not break the man after losing a third son. She plans to write that he died heroically in battle, instead of in a pointless ambush.
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  • Designated Girl Fight: Cheng explicitly invokes this when she calls Shun off Ty Lee's older sister.
  • Doomed by Canon: Both played straight and inverted. Anyone who's watched the show knows that Zuko is going to be shamed in front of the entire court, burned and banished, but they also know that he will return and get his happy ending.
  • Driven to Suicide: It is often a way to preserve the family's honour and to prevent further punishment from coming down on them if a crime is committed.
  • Face Palm: Zuko has one at Tamalan.
  • Fantastic Racism: Against the Fire Nation, the Earth Kingdom and the Colonies. Also, between benders and non-benders, as benders generally have a higher starting wage.
  • Friends with Benefits: What Cheng seems to want to keep things with Shun, though how well it works is debatable.
  • Foreshadowing: Zuko to Shun. He says that the next time he sees the latter, he'll die.
  • Her Heart Will Go On: Sa Ye
  • Heroic BSoD: Zuko after the ambush.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Shun Li. Also with Captain Ji, who sacrificed his own naval career to spare the lives of his men.
    • Yenzi, who volunteered for the navy to get the government off her family's backs. Too bad it doesn't go according to plan.
  • Hidden Depths: Azula. She truly wants what's best for her nation.
  • Ironic Nickname: Little Jiang and Young Jiang for obvious reasons.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Shun, to Zuko before he fights off Kang's men.
  • Kick the Dog: Cheng breaks Khoujin's urn in front of a horrified Sa Ye.
  • Like a Son to Me: Iroh for Zuko, especially with how Lu Ten always seems to pop up whenever he's thinking of Zuko.
  • Not So Stoic: Shun. He nearly strangles Azula and snaps at Zuko.
  • Original Characters: This fic is filled with fun, aggravating and enjoyable-to-read characters.
  • Papa Wolf: Iroh for Zuko, shown brilliantly in the latter's Agni Kai.
  • Parental Substitute: For Zuko, the entire Fire Nation is this for him as he can see his mother in its people. And so, he is the prodigal son.
  • Pet the Dog: Cheng, getting Sa Ye a new, more beautiful urn for Khoujin's ashes after she smashed the old one in a raid. Also Azula, in how she speaks up for Zuko to Zhao after his banishment.
  • Pregnant Badass: Sa Ye, again. She manages to stay strong in two battles and carry out an important mission which involved her jumping from a building three floors up.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The Fire Nation Royal Family.
  • Really Gets Around: Cheng. People call her a slut, even Azula, who doesn't know what the word means.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Khoujin. Things start to go downhill once he dies.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Shun Li. Or as he goes by his real name, Lieutenant Kuo Min of the Flowering Trees. His team was used as bait by the Earth Kingdom troops, burying them alive along with the enemy.
  • Shown Their Work: The author with the help of her betas has done copious amounts of research which can all be read on her LiveJournal.
  • The Stoic: Shun freaking Li. The man is calm in almost every situation. Until he's not.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Subverted with Sa Ye, who got pregnant on purpose, is the age of majority in her world, and is in a stable relationship.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Lijin.
  • Training from Hell: Shun Li. Zuko gets this from him too, but it's mild compared to what his master got.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour: Azula, making political alliances, planning assassinations, and burning animals to death at the tender age of eleven.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Done with Sa Ye's father for the brief moment that he has the POV regarding his wife's death.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Azula, surprisingly. She thinks getting rid of Zuko will better her nation since people tend to die willingly for him.

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