April 27th, 2016

3x3 eyes yakumo

Charioteer by Petrichoral (general)

Title: Charioteer
Fandom: The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner
Pairing: gen, background Attolia/Eugenides
Categories: gen, action/adventure, drama, historical
Length: medium, 13,854 words
Warnings: none

Author on Livejournal: n/a?
Author Website: Petrichoral on AO3

Summary: Captured in battle and stuck in the Mede capital, Costis has given up all hope of seeing his country again. But Eugenides has a habit of turning up where he's least expected.

Review: “Costis,” the king said, looking down at the blanket, “why do I have this?”

“Because,” Costis said, then stopped, because he wasn’t going to say you’re the king out loud here. “It’s your right.”

The king balled it up and threw it back to him. “We are sleeping on the ground in an enemy city, one blanket between us, and, oh yes, we appear to both be slaves. If you can’t come off your high horse here, you must be glued to the saddle.”

With the fandom's first fic exchange ('Hamiathes' Gift') hovering, Megan Whalen Turner's Queen's Thief has been on my mind lately, and I've been re-reading the books and reading over the fanfiction. I've been aware of this particular fic and the high praise it was getting since the Yuletide it landed, but fics in this fandom are harder to sell me on if they don't feature the Queen of Attolia herself, and Costis has never struck me as the most exciting character.

Nevertheless, when I was finally persuaded to read it, it did not disappoint. This is... kind of a serious fandom, what with all the pre-marital maiming and the intricacies of who is planning/waging/holding off from war with whom and all the intense twisty politicking, but this fic manages to have both the politicking and hijinks! Absurd hijinks -- note the tagging of 'ridiculous plans' -- but hijinks that still manage to fit the nature of the fandom. Costis and a Eugenides temporarily parted from his 'king-ing' role make the central odd couple to share the adventure, captured and forced to race chariots for the entertainment of an enemy power. I still want to bop Costis on the head for a touch too much grovelling and "I'm-not-worthy", particularly near the beginning, but Eugenides' characteristic stunts and the wonderful way that the wider tale spins out -- and it does include a few cameos from Queen Irene herself and some background machinations to make me happy -- more than make up for it.