Title: Prodigal Son Author: commandocucumber Rating: T Genre: Mystery/Drama Status: WIP Fandom: How To Train Your Dragon Pairings: None so far (tagged as Astrid/Hiccup, though) Summary: Eight years after Berk's heir vanished, the Viking town is slowly crumbling. Dragon attacks are more devastating than ever. To save her village Astrid must piece together exactly what happened before the dragons wipe them all out for good. Meanwhile, half a world away and eight years wiser, Hiccup decides it might just be time to go home. Link: Prodigal-Son I've wanted to post this fic for a while now, but wanted to wait until it had a bit more flesh to it. Now at almost 100k words and with the plot quite advanced, I believe my rating will remain consistent in the future. I think this fic was rec'd in the Almost Rec thread before, though I'm not sure. The premise of 'Hiccup up and leaves' isn't new, but the execution and where the fic goes from there are. The fic picks up (as the summary says) eight years after the fact, and the chapters alternate between Hiccup's point of view and Astrid's. While Hiccup is studying at Alexadria's fabled Library, Astrid faces an ever more grim future as one of Berk's chief defenders while at the same time beginning to untangle the mystery of what happened to Hiccup. The fic's pros are its amazing characterization (Astrid, Artemisia, Hiccup, Fishlegs, in that order), its historical details that really separate it from the rabble of HTTYD fics, and very good technical writing. Cons, as far as I can tell, are limited to the first few of Hiccup's chapters not being half as interesting as the Astrid ones, but maybe that's my own thoughts on them. In their defense, the Astrid chapters are really fucking good. For anyone afraid of rushed Hiccup/Astrid, don't be. Spoiler Hiccup isn't even on Berk as of chapter 19, not to mention that Astrid's view of him and his actions is decidedly unfavorable. However, the time seems to be approaching when Hiccup will be returning, of his own volition. I'm not even sure how the Hiccup/Astrid will happen, if it does at all. This is okay. Characters are very well developed individually, with very clear personalities and beliefs that are still shaped as they learn and experience things. 5/5 from me. P.S: Mention of the fic-that-shall-not-be-named (you know the one) is strictly prohibited.