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WIP Corin by Isabeau of Greenlea [Dragon Age]

Discussion in 'Games' started by CareOtters, May 15, 2018.

  1. CareOtters

    CareOtters Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    Title: Corin
    Author: Isabeau of Greenlea
    Fandom: Dragon Age
    Rating: M
    Status: WIP
    Length: 290, 783 words
    Summary: The provoking young Cousland Grey Warden stands squarely in the way of Anora's ambitions.

    https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7300672/1/Corin

    This is a rare gem in that it starts in the third act just before the Landsmeet. For the most part, the adventure has already been done, so there's no need for endless slogging through the same quests we played in fanfic format. Instead we see an in-depth examination of the feudal politics of Fereldan during the Blight.

    Corin Cousland, the titular protagonist, is exactly what I want to see in this setting. Do you remember speaking to NPCs in the game, hearing them all talk about how incredibly talented and promising you are, setting the player character up as a larger-than-life figure? This is the payoff. Perhaps it would be fanwank in the hands of a poor author, but it's demonstrated here through the actions of other characters rather than inane narrative posturing.

    Romance is labelled as the genre, but I'd argue against that. There's a substantial look at Corin's relationship with Anora, but that's as a hero-warrior seizing power by any means necessary, up to and including what very much amounts to a self-arranged political marriage. But there's no angst about it. It's very much an act of convenience for everyone involved to not just go along with it, but to enjoy it while it's happening. It's marvellously done in a way I don't think I've ever seen in fanfic before: the author has a maturity and panache in handling inter-character relationships that goes above my expectations.

    The protagonist is unashamedly honest in his desire to take over the country, and there's something so satisfying about it. He's not falling into power by happenstance as so often happens with fantasy protagonists. He's seen that it's possible, and he's working to make it happen. There are dozens of examples of plots and machinations he runs in order to consolidate power - not just to fight the war, but also so that he can be the king. But it's never grimy or greedy, so it's easy for a reader to root for him. As an example, here's a quote from the first chapter as Corin broaches the subject with Queen Anora:

    There's a tendency in fics written about bespoke video game protagonists to dumb them down; make them 'realistic'. That bullshit doesn't fly here. He's going to be the king, so he damn well acts like one. I don't mean he's a Sue. I mean he's a goddamn Beowulf.

    5/5
     
  2. Erandil

    Erandil Headmaster

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    Oh god, this brings back memories. It has been years since I last read this story but from what I remember it is truly one of the better works in the fandom. I will give it a 4/5 for now and see if I don't find the time for a reread in the next few days in which case I will hopefully write a better review...
     
  3. NuitTombee

    NuitTombee Dark Lord

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    It's been so long since I read it. I remember liking it a lot but I'll give it another reread before rating it.

    Edit: I've given it a dozen chapters so far. And while it's not quite as good as I remember, I still place it just above average. 3/5
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  4. Arthellion

    Arthellion Ban(ned) Arthellion

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    I remember this one...

    A classic imo and one of the best in the fandom.

    4.5 rounded up to 5.

    Corbin himself is a bit of a Gary Stu, but Anora is just perfectly characterized.
     
  5. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros.

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    Corin is a Gary Stu and, while he's servicable as one of few main characters, there's just not much tension in the story the longer it drags on. Everything kind of just falls into perfect order for him. The most interesting part of the story was the first 15 chapters where he's maneuvering to become King alongside Anora (easily best character in the story), but once that's accomplished it doesn't feel like things working out is a result of his doing rather than video-game-plot/author contrivance (never played the game, wouldn't know).

    Attempt to introduce some sort of relational tension fail miserably, from introducing the brother (of which the main point of tension is solved in like 3 chapters) to his mother still being alive to both women who want him kind of okay-ish with him sleeping with the other (I may be oversimplifying this).

    The story is readable (above average even), but it's very YMMV esp. if you're not a captured audience (i.e. a fan of the game who's thirsty for some fanfic).

    3/5.
     
  6. Arthellion

    Arthellion Ban(ned) Arthellion

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    I do agree it dragged on.

    I think (since the main goal is becoming king) the story should have ended there.

    The morrigan relationship was reasonable all things considering.
     
  7. oakes

    oakes Auror DLP Supporter

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    This is a bodice ripper novel, well written bodice ripper at that.

    I'd read the earlier chapters back in the day now finally finished what has been posted.

    The thing that I find the most interesting is that how similar a gameplay I had to the author as far as the choices are considered, who is 45+ years old woman.

    I have to say, I didn't think that age demographic was at all inclined for gaming.