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Fic Rec and Review Archive

OldschoolJohto

Don’t underestimate seeds.
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. custom/moka-mark
  2. solrock
WHAT IS THIS?
There's been discussion on the discord server about wanting a more searchable list of fic recommendations, since in the server the links quickly get buried in discussion. I still like the quick, off-the-cuff recs happening there, so I wanted to make a more structured space in addition to. This is also a space for proper reviews (intended to inform the reader, rather than to help out the writer), which was also discussed a little on the server.

ORGANIZATION
I'll sort fics by loose categories (Comics, PMD and Pokemon-Centric, Original Trainers and Journeys, Pokemorphs, Ash and Other Canon Trainers, Fan Regions and Fakemon, Crossovers, and Non-Pokemon) so folks can easily find their flavor. Let me know if I've missed a major category! Within those buckets, I'll list fics alphabetically by title (ignoring articles like a, an, and the) and link to the reply in the thread below. If someone has already recced a fic and you'd still like to review it, you can do that and I'll link that too -- people might have different opinions, and that's cool.

Comments and discussion are fine between posts, since all the recs will be linked here, but let's keep it a separate comment from a new rec.

I think we should emphasize reccing works not already archived on Thousand Roads, but I won't turn away recs and reviews for works that are here.

I may occasionally trawl through the discord channel for what's already been posted when I have time.

WHAT YOUR POST SHOULD CONTAIN
> Fic Title
> Fic Author
> Links to the fic (at least one, additional optional if it's hosted in multiple places)
> Rating and any warning that may apply
> Category (Comics, PMD and Pokemon-Centric, Original Trainers and Journeys, Pokemorphs, Canon Trainers, Fan Regions and Fakemon, Crossovers, and Non-Pokemon)
> Genre
> Optional: other TLDR keywords (e.g. gym leader, contests, Hoenn, Team Rocket)
> Length and status (e.g. One-shot, chaptered, ongoing, abandoned, multi-chapter, complete, etc.)
> Why you're recommending the fic. (Who would like it? Favorite chapters or scenes?)

One rec / review per comment, please!

TITLE by WRITER

Link1 | Link2



Rating: T (language and reasons)

JOURNEY FIC

Action/Adventure and Crime

Keywords: Team Rocket, Kanto, MewTwo

Chaptered, Ongoing



[Your thoughts about it here]

🌟RECS AND REVIEWS🌟
- Ash, an Inspiration by Warmongers of Simora
- Beasts and Beauties by Diet of Wurms
- Blood is Thicker Than Water by Saint Elmo's Fire
- Final Gambit by Wolflyn
- A Mountainous Road with Silver Lining by Golden Raven
- scales by aikotters
- Silver Bird by saphira and shruikan
- strong by snatent
- Three Thousand, Five Hundred Seven and Two Tenths Pounds by shamebucket
- Worst Legendary Encounters by Shadaki
- Youngster Josh by skippingmud

- Festival of Champions by Seijun Tombo

None yet!

None yet!

- Blaze by LittleMissFirebright
- The Drawing Board Chapter 4 by Against.The.Current
- Legend of Faye by Niesse
- Normal by Rhymesalad
- Pokemath by A_hobbyist
- Radiance, Capture On! by NepgyaHeart
- Survival Project by diamondpearl876
- Star Performer by Fulcrum
- Tapu by Farla
- Time and Tide by Cutlerine
- The Wisteria Files by SilverRockets
- Will Somebody Stop These Kids? by Icomeanon6

- Foregone Conclusion by elyvorg
- Parliament of Steel by girl-like-substance
- Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Warped Skies by Team Ion

- Capable Monsters by Marlin M Jenkins

None yet!

- Unknown Title by Slaughtervoid
- you could never swing that dagger by bodysharing and westerngenre

More recs from Negrek on the Thousand Roads main site.
 
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OldschoolJohto

Don’t underestimate seeds.
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. custom/moka-mark
  2. solrock
"Normal" by Rhymesalad

FFN | AO3

Looks like FFN has been taken down for editing. Part is still up on AO3, but not the best stuff. Will update when she re-uploads.

Rating: T (has some language, violent battles, cigarettes and alcohol, and depression)

ORIGINAL TRAINER

Action/Adventure and Drama

Keywords: Gym Leader, Unova, bisexual protagonist, ursaring, umbreon, Kyurem, Team Plasma

Chaptered, Ongoing


Official summary: Krista Strauss is a talented Gym Leader and a gifted mentor, but ever since her brother's disappearance she's merely been going through the motions. Her past intersects with her future when a mysterious visitor arrives at her Gym, and she is thrown into a Pokémon journey she never believed she would make again...

--​

Normal is the story of Krista Strauss, a normal-type Castelia City gym leader in her mid-twenties with a bad attitude. When she accidentally injures a gym challenger, the Unova League requires her to travel with the challenger to update her badge collection or lose the gym.

This is by no means a perfect fic – Krista gets her way a lot and the plot dips into self-indulgence here and there – but the good parts make it a fun read anyway. I was on the fence about Krista until chapter two when she fends off street harassment in a clever and effective way, and now I’ve been enjoying her special flair. In spite of her rough-around-the-edges loner vibe, she has sweet relationships with two younger trainers who look up to her as a mentor. It’s been lovely to watch all three of them slowly grow and learn. Also enjoyable are Krista’s relationships with her pokemon – they’re written more or less like animals but with a lot of personality and opinions. And one of them is… genuinely scary.

I’d recommend this fic to anyone who likes journey fics or who’s interested in the dark underbelly of the pokemon world. Parts of the plot deal with pokemon death, pit fighting, and puppy mills. The pit fighting I liked especially, not because it was Dark and Edgy ™ but because you can see how it’s affected Krista’s relationship with her pokemon. Krista is a trainer who is willing to take on the same risks she asks her pokemon to take on. Rhymesalad also makes good use of space (and human vulnerability!) in these battles – and there are plenty of battles to enjoy.
 
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OldschoolJohto

Don’t underestimate seeds.
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. custom/moka-mark
  2. solrock
Shared by @Meridian on discord:

"Star Performer" by Fulcrum

Bulbagarden

Rating: not rated

ORIGINAL TRAINER

Keywords: Kalos, contests, coordinator

Chaptered, Ongoing


Official summary: A crushing defeat in the final round of Hoenn's Grand Festival threatens to send rising star Coordinator Alex into a downward spiral until his manager suggests an alternative - a holiday in the Kalos region! But it seems the surprises don't end there, as what was meant to be some peaceful R&R ends up being far more eventful than Alex had ever imagined.

--

"So really what can I say here? I can stan every review in the comments for starters, so I'll take from those a little:

- Well done battles, usually as long as they need to be. Nice stylization of writing them, similar to the anime battles
- The fic does a really good job with it's dialogue, characters, and worldbuilding. It's the pokemon world from a very civilian standpoint, so-to-say, as you don't even see pokemon until a few chapters in
- Very different perspective (the rare coordinator), and the characters are a little different than one may be used to.

Some bits are wonk, but for the most part if you can handle a fanfic epic that updates maybe once or twice a year, you should be golden
this is probably a good teaser: "

 

SparklingEspeon

Insquisitabilitating
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. espurr
  2. fennekin
"Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Warped Skies" by Team Ion

Fanfiction.net; Ao3

Rating: Fiction T

Category: PMD and Pokémon-Centric stories

Genre: Mystery; Adventure

Status: Multi-Chapter; Ongoing

Official Summary: "Playing the part of the hero sounded fun at first, until he took a meaty punch to the face. Stranded in a world reminiscent of a game he once knew, a human-turned-meowth struggles to retain his humanity while filling the shoes of the game's protagonists. Unfortunately, his feet are so much smaller. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky, SI-OC. "

~_*_~
PMD: Warped Skies starts out mostly as a standard, run-of-the-mill novelization of PMD Explorers, but quickly branches out after the first couple-or-so branches. The gimmick that initially sets it apart from other game adaptions is that instead of having amnesia, the main character is already fully aware that the events he's currently living through are part of a video game he remembers playing, and Warped Skies is about him trying to game the system based on what he remembers.

Things don't go to plan in ways he never would have expected, and by the end of its first act Warped Skies has split off almost completely from its source material and formed into its own thing. The second of two acts (?) is currently being uploaded, and the story is expansive (400K+ words), so there's a lot of it currently on the web as well.

I would recommend PMD: Warped Skies to anyone who likes Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, but in particular those that played the game it's based on simply for what Warped Skies does with its source material. It's a very good read if you can get into it, though.
~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
On the categories: I've noticed that trainers from the Animeverse seem to have been grouped in with trainers from the games and trainers from the manga as well. Perhaps it might be better to give the Anime, Games, and Manga (I've seen a fair few) their own sections? Otherwise that could get a bit confusing later on. You could probably make a category for the Detective Pikachu movie as well, since that's a thing now?
 

OldschoolJohto

Don’t underestimate seeds.
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. custom/moka-mark
  2. solrock
Foregone Conclusion by elyvorg

On the Serebii forums


Rating: PG-13
for various things including infrequent language and vague sexual references but mostly considerable amounts of violence and character death, albeit that which focuses more on the psychological side of it than the gory details.

PMD and Pokemon-Centric

Keywords: grovyle, no humans, trauma, betrayal, genocide

Chaptered, Complete


@kintsugi says about it: "
characterization is stellar and honestly it's a story about how young kids deal with trauma/betrayal/genocide with extra steps
and like the prose is amazing??"
 

Meridian

local liminal entity
Location
The Casca Region
Pronouns
he/they
this isn't a fanfic but oh boy I got hooked reading this short story that passed by my tumblr dash
(one of these days, one of these, days. I will archive my other recs here)

Unknown Title by Slaughtervoid
Tumblr
T+ or M+ due to extensive themes on grief, death and dying, terminal illness, brief transphobia, bodyhorror, and more that the post warns for.
Non-Pokemon Original Story
Modern Prose, Magical Realism?
Optional:
Corpse Bride But IRL and Trans
One Post, Short Story
Hoooo boy this was amazing. It crossed my dash and I originally assumed it was not a story until I got to the "please marry our dead daughter craigslist ad" bit in the preview. I really don't know where to begin but I would say if you'd like a sort of heart-wrenching magical realism story about sad mourning people, read it. It's a work that shows a lot of talent, and thought. If there's any confusion please check out the tags they explain it p well.
 

OldschoolJohto

Don’t underestimate seeds.
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. custom/moka-mark
  2. solrock

Cresselia92

Ace Trainer
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Alright! I’m gonna bring forth something different than a standard story: a doujinshi.

“Festival of Champions” by Seijun Tombo

Pixiv (Japanese) | MangaDex (English translation)

Rating: T, due to featuring blood and some heavy themes, like character deaths and grief.

Theme: Trainer Fic / Tournament Saga

Genre: Action / Drama

Keywords: Red, Green, Blue, tournament

Status: Chaptered, Ongoing

Summary and Comments:

“Festival of Champions” follows the adventures and challenges of the three original Kanto protagonists — Red, Green and Blue — who meet each other again during a championship where strong Trainers from around the world battle each other. The winner of the competition will get the chance to face the Elite Four.

This is, in my opinion, one of the best stories based on the original games. There are multiple nods to the various Pokémon media, like the theory involving Green’s Raticate and the story behind Cubone’s mother. Speaking of Cubone, its saga — titled “Episode of Cubone” and which can be found in Chapter 3.5 — offers a really nice perspective of how Cubone deals with his grief and the loss of his mother. This story is as wholesome as it is heartbreaking.

Then, there is the “Way of the Dark” arc starting from Chapter 8 — which showcases the struggles and hardships Karen has to face to make the “evil” Dark-types be accepted by society — and the Blue (girl) arc titled “Unchanging Relationship” and starting from Chapter 11 — which shows how friendships and bonds aren’t always destined to remain unchanged throughout the years. Those two arcs are other definite highlights.

Also, the art style of this manga is simply sublime. Excellent lineart, impeccable shading and extremely dynamic scenes make this one of the best mangas in terms of choreography. Very few other stories have managed to reach this level of detail and action in drawn form.

I can’t recommend this enough. It’s truly a masterpiece.
 

Meridian

local liminal entity
Location
The Casca Region
Pronouns
he/they
ayy guess who enjoyed reading something. please be warned that this was written while gradually becoming high, but I did read the fic while not-high lol

(ao3)
Rated General
Category: Original Trainers and Journeys, Pokemon Ranger, and Fan Region
Modern First Person
Keywords: drama, ranger school, female protagonist, coming of age
24k at 4 chapters, unfinished and ongoing as of 4/14/2020
This fic would def appeal to people who enjoyed pokemon ranger and see what it adds to the pokemon world as something worth examining within a character-driven narrative. It's also a fan region lol. The main characters are also shippable.

Fic Summary:
"Reveriena sucks," Eryn Winnet decides upon moving to the region with her toxicroak Tessa. To fit the status quo, she attends a pokémon ranger school and hides her dream of being a champion. Between school hijinks, an underground pokémon battle club, and rumors of a Master Ball 2.0, Eryn learns the difference between being a trainer and ranger the hard way, overwriting her dream in the process.

My Review is as follows, but starts with the point of what my fav parts are:
I think I'm really split. At just four chapters the fic contains a good number of bonding moments, and also has some good drama moments, and even shippable bits. I don't have a lot to say regarding which chapter is my favorite, as almost all of them so far have been a process of setting up the prologue essentially. OP really is doing the work to set the Reveriena region up in the mind's eye, and that happens somewhat gradually. This corresponds fairly well with the story still being set within the first week of school as the POV character Eryn settles into her new daily life at school and the dorms.
The bond between trainers and their pokemon is definitely something the fic hasn't forgotten to establish, and every character's partner pokemon has their own traits that show that while they don't speak, they are still characters who emote and interact with the emerging narrative. Since a party of people is more built from the main character, the rangers around them, and their partner pokemon, there is definitely more room for each individual poke to rise. Unfortunately this does mean the cast is nearly 1:1 in humans to poke ratio, but this also means that pokemon who show up will always get a spotlight.
Again right now it's been mostly setup. Cast, their character arcs, that this is a school and learning takes place, the region's sociopolitical concepts, how the region is layed out, etc. This fic is kind of in a critical stage for feedback, and although it isn't their main project I think Radiance could get whatever boost a recommendation will give it.
 

Meridian

local liminal entity
Location
The Casca Region
Pronouns
he/they
Worst Legendary Encounters by Shadaki
Ao3

Rating: Gen
Ash and Other Canon Trainers
Keywords: Ash, Ash's Pikachu, Kalos, team rocket, Serena, humor, Movies, Hurt/Comfort, Canon-compliant
One-shot, 2.8k

Recommending for the way the author uses the various movies in a singular canon to write a really interesting post-movie scene where Ash and Pikachu look back on their past encounters with legendary pokemon.

----
Finally getting around to some of my old recommendations on the discord. Expect a good ~10 more in the coming days or so. If I forget and don't post something here roughly daily, please dm me on discord to get to work on this.
 

Meridian

local liminal entity
Location
The Casca Region
Pronouns
he/they
Three Thousand, Five Hundred Seven and Two Tenths Pounds by shamebucket
Ao3

Rating: Gen
Other Canon Trainers
Keywords: Shipfic, Red/Blue, missingno, glitch horror, fluff
Oneshot, 1k

It's a cute and bite-size shipfic regarding Blue/Green/Gary Oak's perspective of losing the final fight to Red's Missingno. This was part of the minigame exchange (round 1), and was a pretty neat read that I would def recommend to anyone who enjoys that ship and the general dynamic it tends to have on ao3 (which as a note this ship is pretty common in exchanges)

-------
making sure I don't forget this one since I said I'd do it when it actually came out,,
 

Meridian

local liminal entity
Location
The Casca Region
Pronouns
he/they
Youngster Josh by skippingmud
"A newly hired gym trainer deals with the pressures of the job."
Ao3

Rating: Gen
Category: Ash and Other Canon Trainers
Genre: Slice of Life(?)
Optional: Gym Trainer, Youngster Trainer, Rustboro Gym, Roxanne, Hoenn
Length: Oneshot, 3.8k
Why: Skippingmud is a pokemon fanfic author who does a lot of wonderful oneshots (generally focused on Hoenn), and manages to breath a life into the minutia of the pokemon world that at least for me is a major goal. I personally recommend all their fics, but this one dedicated to the very first gym trainer you fight in Hoenn is an easy starting recommendation.
 

OldschoolJohto

Don’t underestimate seeds.
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. custom/moka-mark
  2. solrock
Capable Monsters by Marlin M Jenkins

Bull City Press | Small Press Distribution Books | Amazon

Rating: PG+
some language, heavy topics (depression, references to sexual violence)

POETRY

Other

Keywords: blackness, otherness, LGBTQ

Poetry, chapbook, published book

--

Okay, look. We're all used to getting fic for free, and money is weird (especially with the pandemic going on). Trust me--I wouldn't recommend this unless I really thought it was worth it.

Here's the official blurb: CAPABLE MONSTERS moves through entries of the pokémon encyclopedia--the Pokédex--as a way to navigate concerns of identity: otherness, what it means to be considered a monster, how we fit into a larger societal ecosystem. To make space for the validity of oft-dismissed subject material, Marlin M. Jenkins asserts the symbolic, thematic, and narrative richness of worlds like the world of Pokémon: his poems use pokémon as a way to explore cataloguing, childhood, race, queerness, violence, and the messiness of being a human in a world of humans.

Here's what I thought about it: Fanfic can do some really incredible, interesting stuff, but racial analysis isn't something I see much of in pokefic. Only a few of these directly name pokemon things in the body of the poem, but they're all couched in dex entries and the poems make unusual use of pokemon facts. The writer uses a lot of pokemon to explain his self-protection strategies in a world that says it's not okay to be black, nerdy, or queer (let alone all three). A couple lines really stuck with me and gave me a lot to think about. Overall, this was medicine for my soul andIjustwanttotalktootherpeopleaboutit.

His lapras poem is available to read online if you're curious.
 

Meridian

local liminal entity
Location
The Casca Region
Pronouns
he/they
Strong by snatent
"A young Guzma returns from his island challenge and tries to readjust to living in his parents' house. Strongly recommended you finish Sun & Moon before reading, just in case. "
Ao3

Rating: Gen
Category: Ash and Other Canon Trainers
Genre: Drama
Keywords: Child Abuse, Verbal Abuse, Guzma, Alola, Hala, Backstory, Guzma's Family,
Length: Oneshot, 5270 words.
Recommending this one because it's a pretty heart-wrenching but short story about Guzma's backstory.
 

OldschoolJohto

Don’t underestimate seeds.
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. custom/moka-mark
  2. solrock
“Parliament of Steel” by girl-like-substance

FFN | AO3

Rating: T
(I think for some cursing, Pokémon neglect. There’s nothing actually very graphic in it though.)

POKEMON POV

Drama / Friendship

Keywords: magneton, Jasmine, 1st person, healing, neglect

One-shot

13k words

Official summary: The Indigo League have a difficult job on hand: rehabilitating a near-dead pokémon that's been languishing in their containment facility far longer than anticipated. They're going to need an expert – and more than that, someone who can deal with this particular pokémon's fifty-four bloated egos ...

What I liked about it: GLS makes masterful use of 1st person perspective to show of magneton in an epic new light—including a peek into its spiritual life. The prose is evocative (and very cleanly edited). The magneton’s inner conflict about humans feels earned and painful, and the ending was very satisfying.
 

OldschoolJohto

Don’t underestimate seeds.
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. custom/moka-mark
  2. solrock
“Time and Tide” by Cutlerine (girl-like-substance)

On Serebii

Rating: PG

ORIGINAL TRAINER

Action / Adventure

Keywords: Hoenn, AU, Kyogre, trans girl, underwater, porygon, ghosts, Archie, Maxie, Zinnia

Chaptered, finished
301k words

Avice is a trans girl who grew up in Thethys, the underwater city built around the remains of the Team Magma base in a post-Kyogre Hoenn. It’s a Rayquaza quest reimagined with pirates, secret police, ghosts, librarians, and the best little porygon ever. Leans on external plot more than character motive in a few places, but overall it’s a fun and captivating adventure. Archie and Maxie really shine, and the new half-sunken Hoenn 500 years after the flood is a delight to discover and explore.
 

K_S

Nrml and grnd type fan, with a dash of psn n bug
A mountainous Road with Silver Lining

Author: Golden Raven

Ao3 version

Ranking: Teen and up, per the author: (implied/referenced torture,child abuse, character death)
Rec'ers note on ranking: while these exist in the base story and canon very little is shown in this work, and most is alluded or fade to black when it's handled in the writing.

Category: Pokemon, Canon Trainers/MANGA focus

Genre: It's waffles an odd blend of slice of life, trauma recovery, reconciliation, villain redemption, and found family, all while going forward with the plot of the base material (POKEMON SPECIAL), with some changes of course as to paraphrase the author "certain aspects of canon were dragged off behind the game corner and shot".

Length: Multi chapter, though chapter length is rather short. It ends on 72 with a potential sequel in the wings, and many au's knocking around on the authors account that clearly draw inspiration from this story line.

Summery:

For a realistic Giovanni redemption arch look no further.

When fleeing the repercussions of his battle with Red at Silph Co. Giovanni has gone to ground and by hap-stance, and one rather sassy Sneasal, he finds his son, Silver. Silver, in turn, has been on the run from the Mask of Ice and is amnesiac, not recalling who his father is. In taking Silver in Giovanni winds up taking Green in, as the pair are matched set, and that's when the insanity begins. He juggles helping the children recover (and getting Green home), assessing the damage done to Team Rocket, reclaiming his own civilian identity, the mechanism of Oak and the dex' squad, and then the Manga plot kicks in and adds an insane champion on top of everything else.

The whole is a bit slow paced, character driven, and a good sampling of a bare bones style that works because the characters wind up carrying so much. If you've some time and a little patience "Roads" is worth the effort, as are it's spin offs.
 

K_S

Nrml and grnd type fan, with a dash of psn n bug
Title: Pokemath

Author: A_hobbyist

Ao3 version

Ranking: Teen

Category: Original trainer, pokemon

Genre: General,
Status: presently in progress, the author is presently in habit of updating regularly.

Summery:
This one is a bizarre fic, an incomplete one at the moment, with long chapters chalk filled with analysis. The author builds up and tears down the world his character found himself in but what else can you get when the main character, an original trainer that shares headspace with a meta... entity... that's basically a marriage of pokemon database, the internet, and pure calculation? This pokeworld, a wierd version of Kanto, has no idea what hit it.
 

Flyg0n

Flygon connoisseur
Pronouns
She/her
Partners
  1. flygon
Ash, an Inspiration by Warmongers of Simora

FFN

Rating: K

ASH AND OTHER CANON TRAINERS

Adventure/Humor

Keywords: Ash, Alola, alola fic, mentorship, team dynamics, mature ash

Chaptered, Ongoing


[This Ash-centric fic takes an unusual route. It picks up after Kalos, takes place in Alola. Instead of following Ash on an adventure, however, he is invited to Alola to help tutor a group of kids struggling at the school. Namely, the alola gang! Ash takes a more mature mentorly role in this story, helping to guide these kids to greatness. The focus on Ash's skills and wide spread of pokemon is a lovely take on his character. Despite his age range being older, I feel like this story still preserves his character well and takes an interesting new direction. Not only that but some of Ash's older mons get a chance to shine. So far, its shaping up to be a very pleasant Ash-fic.]
 

K_S

Nrml and grnd type fan, with a dash of psn n bug
Title: You could never swing that dagger
(co)Author(s): bodysharing and westerngenre

ao3 link

Teen, there's discussion of child abuse, torture, and brain washing and PTSD/flashbacks,

Rec'ers note:

Links not that mentally healthy and he has damage from dying, from what he's expected to do, and that pales before the sheer mental damage that the Yiga conditioning inflicted on the child soldier tag along who carries half of the narrative weight. While it's not over the top gory there's talk of serious issues, avoidance/denial of said issues, and consequences of poor communication. It gets better as they learn from each other but when it's bad it's bad. As a fair warning I found the Death Mountain chapter hard to read, it was a train wreck of vile proportions.

Category: Non-pokemon, Legend of Zelda BOTW

Genre: Adventure

Status: Veeery slow to update. The author hasn't said it's dead but it's been a year between updates... this is unfortunately a norm for this fic.

Why I'm recing a possible dead fic... The writing is amazing, the characterization dead on, and the whole is both heartrendingly and heartwarming realistic. The tug of war between damage taken and recovery made. How Link starts fighting back against his own internalization of being a tool of prophecy and only holding to duty and the Yiga tag along starts to realize that things aren't right and begins the process to break off from his clans unhealthy rituals to actually start to seeing the world around him. It's all handled well... Also there's a balance of serious and humor, the Champions are an amusing bunch, and it's established early on Link should never name anything, ever.

During the course of his "heroing" Link names his Wolf companion (from the Amibo) "Loaf", his house's "Salt" and "Sugar", and later on his Yiga companion gets a nick-name as near groan worthy as the various animals above.
 
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