Coronation

By Sahari
Series: Arslan Senki
Reviewed by: Lynda Feng

Arslan Senki fan-fiction isn't all that common, so I'll take anything I can get my hands on. In the case of Coronation, I happen to have stumbled upon a rare jewel. A long story, romance, and a threesome.

Coronation takes place 4 years after the events of the anime and builds on them in a logical fashion. The country is at peace and in the process of rebuilding. All the major characters have resumed their lives, as best they can after the disruption of the war. Arslan has matured into an admirable young man and is about to be officially crowned king. He also finally has time to stop and think - about the future, about his own needs as a person, and of course, about marriage, heirs, and a depressing deficit of romance. How he resolves his problems forms the central plot of the story.

One of the charms of the anime is that around the central story swirls a multitude of subplots - not all of them are resolved, many are not fully explained, and some few barely hinted at. Coronation remains faithful to the feel of the anime, maintaining that stately charm. There are subplots dealing with all the major characters, and several minor ones, and as in the anime, they weave their way through the central story making the whole greater than the parts.

None of the characters has to step "out of character" in this story. Narsus' lovely, dry, ironic humor remains intact, Arslan is genki, Elam, naive and enthusiastic. Not relegated to mere plot advancing devices, the female characters remain in character, retain their strengths and weaknesses, and dance to their own subplots.

Religion, which provides a strong backdrop to the anime, is also retained as a strong force in this fanfic. It remains a driving force in peoples lives, motivating belief and behavior, rather than veering off into the fantastic or the arcane. Sahari has also done quite a bit of research and work, there is an associated table of names and their spelling variations, and the hinted at pantheon of gods and goddesses and their roles in the anime has been nicely fleshed out.

Coronation has everything I could ask for, and more. It's a well written romance that doesn't get mushy or bog down in too much introspection. There isn't much action, but the story moves long at a crisp pace and holds up well to repeated rereading. And, to quote Nora's comment from the Animanga Recommendations, "Nice sex." If you liked Time by Tia Noto Yoko, you will most likely enjoy Coronation.

You can read Coronation at Sahari's shrine.