firerose: (Default)
firerose ([personal profile] firerose) wrote2015-04-10 02:09 am
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Dear Sutcliff Swap Creator

Hail fellow Sutcliff lover! This letter assumes you want to know more about my preferences -- if you'd rather work just from the assigned characters be assured that I'm fascinated by all three. For (a lot) more information on my general preferences see my last year's Yuletide letter. My Sutcliff recs might also give you an idea of my tastes.

The short version: gen, het & slash equally welcome, but I generally prefer to close the bedroom door; I love world building, OCs & fork-in-the-road AUs. I like historical accuracy but am woefully ignorant about this period, so don't feel constrained by historical detail, especially for Carausius, if it doesn't work for your story.

The Silver Branch

This is one of my long-term Sutcliff favourites. I particularly love the whole resistance movement thread and the coastal setting near where I was brought up. Aside from the two characters I requested I'm also very fond of Honoria, for whom I got a lovely story last year, Anthonius, and the all-too-imaginary ship Justin/Anthonius. I don't ship Justin/Flavius, but don't mind if you do, though I have to admit I find Flavius one of Sutcliff's least interesting creations.

Paulinus: I love Sutcliff's unusual mentor figures. If you want more specific prompts... I'm interested in how this unlikely secret agent came to be heading up the resistance movement, and, probably related, his backstory with Carausius (and possibly Allectus). Or, a Paulinus Lives! AU where there was another way out, and how this impacted on the resistance movement in the rest of the novel. (It strikes me that this has the potential for a fascinating clash between Flavius & Paulinus over leadership, if that were the way you went.) Or, perhaps a ghost story?

Carausius: Carausius's vision of civilised Britain as a light when Rome falls is such a strong one. If you wanted to combine these prompts, his history with Paulinus fascinates me, but fleshing out any of his backstory would be of interest. How did he come to appoint Allectus, for example? The Carausius Lives scenario, where he successfully tackles Allectus, also has fascinating possibilities.

The Mark of the Horse Lord
I read this while contemplating my sign up this year and was completely blown away: I think it might be the best Sutcliff I've encountered, though not the easiest to read. I love the novel's careful set up of the surprising-yet-inevitable ending -- it's perhaps the most structured of her novels -- the strong female characters and the clash of matriarchal & patriarchal cultures/religions. Also, having just moved to near Oban, the landscape here and its human history is a particular draw.

I love several of the characters (Murna, Phaedrus, Sinnoch, Conory!) but their story is told in canon & extended in the little fanfiction that exists -- hence Liadhan. It's interesting how easy it is to embrace this story about the successful deposition of a strong female leader. We meet Liadhan briefly and only hear about her from her enemies, and her young daughter. Without whitewashing her actions, I'd love to hear her side of the story.