Seven Magpies

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Title: Seven Magpies
Author(s): syllic
Date(s): 13 January 2010
Length: 33,000 words, 3:15:01 hours
Genre: slash fanfiction
Fandom: Merlin
External Links: Seven Magpies (camelotsolstice)
Seven Magpies (LiveJournal)
Seven Magpies (AO3)
Seven Magpies (Ebook Library)
Seven Magpies (audiobook)
Seven Magpies.jpg

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Seven Magpies is a Merlin/Arthur story by syllic (33,000 words). It was written for shiny_starlight as part of the 2009 camelotsolstice gift exchange.

Summary: Arthur opened his eyes a minute later to the sight of seven magpies streaking across the top of the clearing, their shapes dark against the white clouds and the muted grey of the sky. He tried to remember what it was that seven magpies meant—he’d had a nurse who had sung the rhyme to him as a child—but couldn’t.
Arthur wakes up somewhere he doesn't recognise, but where he clearly belongs.

This is a role reversal fic where Arthur experiences in a mirror world what it's like to be Merlin's servant.

Recs and Reviews

A spell transports Arthur to an alternate Camelot, where Merlin is Prince and Arthur is -- you guessed it -- his manservant. This is an amazing character study of Arthur as he reconciles the world as he knew it with this new one in which he finds himself. Syllic's alternate Merlin has an easy self confidence from life as a prince, but he's still completely devoted to Arthur.[1]
I can see this being exactly the fic I look back on to say: This was the first Merlin fic I read. Which won't be technically true, but my memory is never that accurate anyway and I can imagine feeling that way because I got lost in this fic. I melted into it and fell in love with each character and the entire universe that was created here. It is an epic character journey for Arthur that just pokes at everything I wanted fanfic to poke at the instant I finished watching the series. *snuggles it close*"[2]
Via a spell, Arthur is taken to an alternate reality to learn a few things about himself and the people surrounding him. While the story doesn't hold any surprises, it is an entertaining read.[3]
I've been wanting a role reversal fic for Merlin for ages, so I was thrilled to stumble across this one. Hunith's universe is pretty fabulous and I really, really like Prince Merlin. I do wish there had been a bit more introspection on Arthur's part (as it stands the story feels a little emotionally flat), but it's still great to see Arthur experiencing what it's like to be on the other end of the master/servant stick (...). A good choice for anyone who likes the idea of Arthur and Merlin changing roles.[4]


Lunchee podficced the story[5] and cybel turned it into an audiobook. It is 3:15:01 hours long.

Notes: "I used a sort of new mic to record this piece [...] (I found myself editing out my intakes of breath for the first time...weird.) I was also a bit woozy during recording so I think the pace is quite slow compared to my other pods? Anyway, YAYS, mic! Also, the track is 32kbps, which results in almost half the file size! Everyone wins! The music used herein: Florence and the Machine's Bird Song, and Bird Song Intro."[5]


  1. ^ piscaria. two more Merlin/Arthur recs: "Seven Magpies" and At Our Best When It's From the Hips, 20 March 2010. (Accessed 16 August 2010)
  2. ^ marguerite_26. Canon Era Arthur/Merlin Recs. (Accessed 16 August 2010)
  3. ^ anotherslashfan. Yet another multifandom rec post, 06 February 2010. (Accessed 16 August 2010)
  4. ^ jane_elliot in epic_recs. Seven Magpies by syllic (hard R), 16 December 2010. (Accessed 17 December 2010)
  5. ^ a b lunchy_munchy. [Merlin] Seven Magpies by Syllic, 01 October 2010. (Accessed 13 October 2010)