Putting this out here before I change my mind.
Since, my exams ended today, I have meticulously compiled a reading list for the month of February, or however long it takes to go through it all, for myself and for anybody who wants to take a look. It contains some of my oldest recs, and stories I have been wanting to read for some time now but life interfered or started but never reached completion.
Possibly Maybe I'm Falling For You by lady_ragnell
'Merlin walks into his favourite coffee shop one morning to find the Prince of Wales behind the till. His life only gets more surreal from there.'
(Modern Royalty is always lovely to read, and lady_ragnell is a pro. Read it here.)
You Give Me Fever by SlantedKnitting
'Arthur is a history teacher who just wants to live his life in peace. Morgana is the frontwoman of a successful band, and she bursts back into Arthur’s life after a two-year estrangement. As Arthur wades cautiously back into his sister’s life, he meets the band’s new drummer, Merlin. Merlin is charming and clever and, per Morgana’s decree, off limits to Arthur. Now Arthur has to decide if he wants to appease his sister or go after what (who) he really wants.'
(So cool and very interesting! Read it here.)
Living In Hearts Left Behind by giselleslash
'Arthur has been living abroad for several years, wanting to get as far away from his family and the expectations placed on him as possible, but the unexpected death of his brother brings him back home where he must confront the things that drove him away. He has to deal with the guilt of not being in his brother's life for the last few years and how much he missed because of that as well as the fact that maybe his father wasn't what he thought he was. And to make everything even more complicated there's his brother's boyfriend, Merlin, who might just be his salvation if their guilt and sadness doesn't drown them before they even get started.' (This looks wonderful and emotional, read it here.)
Tributes by TheAvalonian
'It is the 57th annual Hunger Games, and Merlin Emrys stands at the Reaping ceremony with Guinevere Smith at his side, unable to hear the roar of the crowd over the ringing in his own ears. Because Merlin is about to face his best friend and twenty-two strangers in a fight to the death, where there can only be one victor. In a twisted game where death seems the only certainty, Merlin will find himself tested in ways no one could have ever predicted - and may even find himself fighting for more than just his own life as he enters into an unlikely alliance with Arthur Pendragon, the Career tribute poised to win it all. Merlin/Arthur AU, set in the Hunger Games universe.' (I have been wanting to read something like this for a while now. Read it here.)
Road of Ruins by whimsycatcher, xancredible
'Emrys, he whose power is greater than any before him, shall return magic to its rightful place. At his side will fight a man born from pain, raised in blood, then cast away. With hair as bright as gold, and an arm like a forged weapon the likes of which haven’t been seen in centuries, the Mother will have a warrior to fight for her life’s blood. Together they shall bring peace and prosperity to Gaia once more.
Arthur has no doubt that he's the Warrior from the prophecy. With the help of Uther's prized wives, he ventures North to find Emrys, and to return magic to the land that his father killed.' (Oh god, oh god, oh god *cue excited flailing*! this is exactly what I wanted \o/. Read it here.)
Defenders of the Realm by lamardeuse
'Modern AU. Arthur and Morgana are Metropolitan police officers drawn into a strange case involving robbery of ancient artifacts. Merlin is a graduate student at Imperial College studying the healing plants of Ancient Britain under Gaius – or at least that's what he tells everyone. Soon they, along with Gwen, Lancelot and Uther, will be facing a battle for the future of the country. Can they defend the realm from those who would seek to destroy it? Written for Merlin Big Bang.' (This sounds very interesting. Read it here.)
The Skies Were Never So Blue by alby_mangroves, arsenicandsunshine
'Arthur's exhausted. Not that he'll admit that to Morgana, his father, or even himself. And now he’s gotten dragged along on what was supposed to be a vacation—and there’s an annoying ranch hand that’s frustratingly handsome. A fact that is at the top of the running list of things he’s never going to admit to anyone.
Merlin has been roped into working in his uncle's dude ranch. And one of the current guests is a particular prat. A hot one—a thought he’ll keep to himself, thank you—but still a clotpole. And he just keeps doing stupid things. Like trying to pet a bison' (Farm AU, sounds amazing and very very funny. Read it here.)
Opposite by Elveatas (Ricecake)
'When Queen Ygraine died, a grief-stricken King Uther struck out at magic and started the genocide known as the Great Purge. The sorcerers who could, escaped across the borders to Camelot’s neighbouring countries where they formed the organisation known as the Opposition, while those who stayed founded the Resistance. Throughout the years, both organisations have succeeded in infiltrating almost every one of Camelot’s government agencies, including the Knights of Camelot – Uther’s elite corps.
Twenty years after the Purge, Princess Morgana’s magic secretly surfaces and the Opposition sends Merlin to Camelot to teach her how to control it. When the Resistance tries to assassinate Crown Prince Arthur, Merlin saves his life, and as a reward, finds himself a Squire of Camelot. Now he must navigate a gruelling training regimen, run-ins with the Resistance, royal visitors from other countries, and still find the time to teach Morgana magic while staying undercover until the time is right.' (Looks lovely. Subscribed! Find it here.)
What Child Is This by lamardeuse
'A modern AU with Merlin, Arthur, mayhem, a baby and a jingly elf hat.' (This is the loveliest thing ever! And even the mention of holiday season is enough to fill me with warmth. Christmas! Read it here.)
In Time of Trial by Shine
'Uther fears his son's power, and Merlin has helped Arthur flee to escape imprisonment. Now the two of them must fight to regain Arthur's rightful place in Camelot.' (Read it here! )
No Matter How Far Away You Roam by Lady Ragnell
'“I was wondering if you might come home with me.” Merlin stops mid-rant and stares at him, and then down at his panini again, and back at Arthur. This is a panini of lies and pain. He can tell already.
“For Christmas? I’ve got an uncle and a mother and a sister waiting for me at home, in case you hadn’t remembered, I’m not going home with you just because you’re a workaholic.”
“No, it’s. My mum might be under the impression that we’re a little bit married.”
In which Merlin gets conned into spending Christmas with Arthur's family and pretending to be his husband, because somehow this is his life.' (Read it here!)
Emrys Ascending by tricksterity
'In the depths of the Crystal of Neahtid, Merlin sees the resurrection of Lord Voldemort, an event that will tip the balance of the world so far out that only he has the power to intervene and set it right, or stop it from ever happening. For that, he'll have to pose as a student and attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The only problem is, he's been chosen instead of Cedric Diggory as a Triwizard Champion, and there's a recently reborn Arthur Pendragon in Gryffindor House.' (Half-way through! Excited to continue as I finally have more time! Read it here.)
You Only Live Twice by storyforsomeone
'Agent Arthur Pendragon is the best assassin the agency has ever seen, trained and honed to be MI6’s finest weapon.
He does not need a voice in his ear telling him how to do his job. He does not listen to stubborn geniuses who apparently had no sense of self-preservation and enjoyed baiting professional killers.
He certainly does not fall in love with quartermasters with haunting blue-gold eyes and an irritating habit of saving his life.(Or the one where Arthur is 007, Merlin is Q, and they’re both still idiots.)' (Two words -- Arthur! Kidnapped! Whump! Maybe possible reincarnation, who knows! Read it here.)
Set the Falling Night Ablaze by viennajones
'When the Covert Alien and Mythical Enemy Lifeforms Observation Taskforce discovers a mysterious artefact in the wilderness of Alaska, Arthur Pendragon is forced to call in help from another alien intelligence agency. Unfortunately, this also means that Arthur will have to work with the last person he ever wanted to see again: Merlin.' (This sounds like a proper mystery and thriller novella. And who doesn't like aliens? Read here.)
Game, Set, Match by ingberry
'All of Britain watches as Arthur Pendragon (golden boy of tennis) gets injured at Wimbledon with the London Olympics looming only a few weeks away. Not many people watch as Merlin Emrys (newbie on the medical team) works to get Arthur back into shape, but maybe that’s just as well because Merlin gets a bit more entangled than he planned.' (Oh lovely! My love for sports inspired fics runs deep, very deep. Read it here. )
Easy There by syllic
'Arthur is an Oxford Blue. Merlin is an Oxford cox. Lancelot is Merlin's romantic-dalliance-loving friend. Morgana is horribly clever; Gwen is cleverly waiting for Lancelot to grow up. Merlin and Arthur rub each other the wrong way, at first, but it soon becomes clear that Arthur is a university-class rower with a world-class heart (yes, I typed that). Clichés ensue.' (University, Rowing, Championships. Literally the best thing in the world. Read here.)
There Are No Gays in Football by Malu_3
'When a deeply-closeted Arthur Pendragon finally earns a spot in Camelot's first XI, he's dead set on breaking records, not one of sport's last taboos. But life, like football, is a funny old game, and sometimes the only way up is out. Especially once he realises he's arse over tit for the new physio.
A queer Arthurian tale of courage, love, and football.' (This has been on my list for so long, I'm literally dying to read it. *Sheds hysterical and excited tears.* Read here.)
Red Caps by rotrude
'Fresh of finishing his Special Investigation Branch training, Corporal Merlin Emrys gets his transfer to the Lisburn based 174 Provost Company. No sooner has he settled in, than a training accident occurs. Merlin is tasked with joining Sergeant Arthur Pendragon in an investigation that hits a little too closely to home and changes his outlook on himself and his new colleague.' (Rotrude is a wonderful writer and Tex's art will always be the most beautiful thing ever. Much Love. Read it here.)
Heart of the Woods by Nympha_Alba
'When one of Merlin's spells misfires, Arthur is left without a memory of who he is and why he's there. Thinking Arthur will have no recollection of any of this when his memory returns, Merlin makes the risky decision to show him how beautiful magic can be.' (It's just... lovely. Read it here.)
Here We Go Again (a What's Your Number? AU) by alby_mangroves, daroh
'Merlin’s determined to find the best ex of his life; Arthur, the best sex. Arthur proposes a neighbourly arrangement to get them both what they want. What could possibly go wrong?' (Oh just awesome! Can't wait to read it! Find it here.)
Destiny That Darkly Hides Us by Nympha_Alba
'It’s 1913, the practice of homosexuality is unlawful, so is the practice of magic. When Arthur Pendragon and Merlin Emrys meet as Cambridge undergrads, they’re both hungry for a real and true connection without secrets. For a short time they believe they may have found it. But war breaks out and separates them, and it seems unlikely that they will meet again. After all, what are the odds?' (Let's face it. Trying to keep this list short isn't going to help anybody now, is it? *chortles* Another beauty. Read it here.)
A Tale of the High Seas by rotrude
'First Lieutenant Arthur Pendragon thinks that the Navy is his life or he does until he has a close encounter with a bunch of evil pirates that is set to change his life. Coincidentally, he might find love and discover that the supernatural exists. Meanwhile Elena is determined to save her man from the clutches of the same evil pirates, though she might bumble her way through the rescue.' (Looks plotty and very good. Super-excited to read it, here.)
Broken Chemistry by Pondermoniums
'Merlin is a transfer student in his new university, and so far, he is making great friends with a circle of people; the only one who seems to have any issue with him is a young man named Arthur. Forced to be chemistry partners by Arthur's sister and fellow classmate, Morgana, Arthur and Merlin find themselves constantly brought together by their mutual friends. The result of such bonding, remains to be seen.
Arthur comes from a broken and emotionally abusive home, but he ultimately finds solace in the annoyingly optimistic and artistic Merlin, whose reasons for transferring schools are shrouded in mystery.' (I love College/University AU's! Read it here.)
A Song From Far Away by mushroomtale, Polomonkey
'When Arthur is captured by an enemy king intent on conquering Camelot, his future looks bleak. For Cenred commands not only a clutch of sorcerers but a fearsome dragon trained to do battle and wreak destruction.
Then Arthur meets Merlin, a fellow captive whose magic has been bound to Cenred's will. But can Merlin resist Cenred's control long enough to help Arthur save Camelot?' (Polo's fics are always wonderful, if very angst-y at times. It's hard not to fall in love with it. Absolutely gorgeous. Read here.)
We're A Storm In Somebody Else's Teacup by paperclipbitch
'In which Merlin and Morgana meet at a support group for people with superpowers, and accidentally start a chain of events that nearly destroys the world.' (Literally my oldest rec. Can't wait to read it! Find here.)
I Keep Going Over the World We Knew (Over and Over) by Mellacita
'When Merlin Emrys is sent on a 'round-the-world assignment, he begins remembering a life of magic, dragons, and kings. To make matters worse, a strange woman starts stalking him along the way. And that's before he even meets Arthur Pendragon, whose answer to climate change is going to save the world. Because apparently just saving Britain won't be enough this time around.' (Sounds very hip and trendy and on-point. I'm sure it'll be lovely. Read it here.)
And to round it all off;
Freedom Hangs Like Heaven by derryere
'It’s happened five times and they don’t talk about it' (Always a great fan of derryere's. The link is to a third party source i.e. the Merlin Finder's page since she's deleted it. Read it here.)