The Sorcerer and The King by misswinterhill
Merlin/Arthur, 85000 words, rated 18+
warnings: main character death (temporary), supporting character death (permanent)
Canon AU -- Merlin's death is only the beginning; with no-one to protect the kingdom, Camelot falls to an enemy sorcerer and Arthur is forced to serve in the court that he once ruled. When an escape attempt goes horribly wrong, Arthur is rescued by someone he never expected to see again -- and it's their destiny to put things right.
COMMENTS: I don't usually do a lot of fic recs, but I just spend the last few hours on this one, and it just completely blew me away. What can I even say about this fic? I held off reading it at first because I could tell right away from the summary that it would most likely be heartbreakingly angsty - and it is, to an extent. I am so glad I went back and read it though, because it is also plotty and gorgeous and just thinking about it makes me incoherent. This is the first fic I've read in this fandom where we actually have Merlin's death, and you can just see how things start falling apart. It's like a punch in the gut that makes you go oh no, what's going to happen now? The author moves the plot along beautifully though - and all the little details really make the story - the word count looks very long, but when you start reading, the flow of things just moves you along. Basically, the way I feel right now = the way I feel after reading a very very good book, and I still can't get over how good this is. this isn't a quick read, and is definitely something you should allocate an evening to, but imo, it is so worth your time. ♥