nineveh_uk (nineveh_uk) wrote,

Fic rec

I am very much enjoying [personal profile] el_staplador's Ruritania fanfic The Blood of the Henztaus.

To give the summary:

1891. It is sixteen years since Mr Rassendyll first set foot in Ruritania, and thirteen since the events described in Rupert of Hentzau. It is twelve years since Queen Flavia was crowned monarch of Ruritania in her own right. Elisabeth, beloved only daughter of Fritz and Helga von Tarlenheim, is growing up in a peaceful and prosperous country. In Ruritania, however, one can only be sure of two things: that the Hentzaus fear nothing, and that, if there is a plot, the Tarlenheims are in it up to the neck.

It's a WIP, but updated weekly, gen, with a femslash element. It's a thoroughly entertaining, a good pastiche of Hope's style (the fun of the The Prisoner of Zenda, rather than the sadly plodding Rupert of Hentzau), and involves Ruritanian romance, politics and intrigue, a girls' boarding school, occasional references to silver age operetta, devotion to duty, a certain Conan-Doyle connection, and generally just what the darkening evenings ordered.

To give you a taste of the opening...

"My father was often heard to remark to my mother and brothers, though not, as he thought, to me, that he was bound to thank a merciful heaven that that young rogue Rupert of Hentzau had departed this world before he – my father, that is, the Count Fritz von Tarlenheim – had been so foolish as to bring a daughter into it.

I wonder occasionally what Papa made of Maria Adler. He never, I think, trusted her, from our schooldays onwards, though whether he tumbled to the secret of her parenthood I cannot say.

I wonder, too, what Maria Adler made of me. A challenge, or a comrade? A tool, or a friend? Or, perhaps, simply a diversion. Still, the question presses to the front of my mind: why me? What to her was the appeal of Elisabeth Flavia Luise Hedwig von Tarlenheim? I would almost swear that she loved me at one time, or perhaps always.

Then I laugh.

And what I made of her? My friend (though whether you will still call me 'friend' when you have reached the end I do not know), this is what I shall endeavour to tell in these pages, but until I have laid this history fully before you, let it suffice that you know that the years I spent in her company are, for good or ill, the years that rise most vividly to my memory now."
Tags: fic rec, ruritania
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