In Want of a Wife

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Title: In Want of a Wife
Author(s): syllic
Date(s): 29 August 2009
Length: 42,805 words
Genre: slash fanfiction
Fandom: Merlin
External Links: In Want of a Wife (Livejournal)
In Want of a Wife (AO3)
In Want of a Wife (Ebook Library)

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In Want of a Wife is a Merlin/Arthur slash story by syllic (42,805 words). It was written for Sweet Charity.

The story was a runner-up at the Spring 2010 Merlin Slash Awards in the Best Epic and Best Romance categories ("Arthur/Merlin Fanfiction").

Summary: When Merlin first hears that Arthur has been betrothed, his ribs pull inwards with an odd little hitch, and he only allows himself a second—which he needs in order to coordinate spinning in place without falling on his face—before he’s running to Arthur’s chambers.

Author's Notes: "This is an experiment in turning a well-loved trope--the unexpected arranged marriage--around. It is as much about courts as it is about boys, so it behooves us all, I think, for me to say that Camelot's court in this is a complex construction, existing in an impossible time before the arrival of the printing press but after the advent of the professional book-making that may or may not have been taking place in the 1300s in Britain, with many a romantic practice being carried out even as Anglo-Saxon names for regions of Britain are used and pagan holidays are celebrated."[1]

Recs and Reviews

The story follows the four seasons and the master post used icons to illustrate that.
  • "A deliciously long story in which Arthur tries to make the most of the year before his planned wedding and Merlin basically does the same. Each of course thinks that this is what it is, this is all they can get, this is all the other wants. So much longing. Made me sigh a lot and the end is completely satisfying." (rodneyscat)[2]
  • "Merlin's slow insights into Arthur's character came across absolutely perfectly. The weight of everything they didn't say to each other was almost palpable in this story, each new secret adding depth to it. Arthur's indulgences, Merlin's magic, the boy at Anna's house, the canceled marriage, their feelings for each other . . . you built a whole history up behind them and before them, and it gave the story a sense of time and realism that I rarely see in fanfic. I felt I saw a year pass by as I read it." (Piscaria, 15 Nov 2009, AO3 comment)
  • "Your writing is just so... full! It's got all the character development and everything I could ever want from a harlequin-esque piece." (Rosiecotton, 29 Nov 2009, AO3 comment)
  • "This is an incredibly satisfying story. It has the fairytale ending I have dreamed of ever since I discerned the plot choices that the writers have decided to pursue in the BBC series." (heartofoshun)[3]
  • "This fic is utter perfection, and everything you could wish for a fic. I love how we see the year passing in Camelot, and the relationship between Merlin and Arthur unfolds, and how the castle is alive (not in a magical term though) and wonderful. I love Arthur's friendship with Gawain (who is NOT Gwaine from the TVshow, I suspect the fic has been written before his existence), who is such a dear and interesting OC, and how Uther seems very "real" and not completely mad or completely nice, like he is in so many fics. I love many more things about this fic but I really don't want to spoil you, because every little detail is a wonder to discover. I can just tell you to go read it now."[4]


  1. ^ syllic. In Want of a Wife: Master Post, 29 August 2009. (Accessed 18 July 2010)
  2. ^ rodneyscat. Mixed bag of recs and links in several fandoms, 03 November 2009. (Accessed 18 July 2010)
  3. ^ heartofoshun. Merlin fic rec - In Want of a Wife by Syllic, 18 September 2009. (Accessed 18 July 2010)
  4. ^ tama_abi. A Must!Read Rec, 10 August 2011. (Accessed 27 August 2011)