The Mirror, The Sword and The Shield

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Title: The Mirror, The Sword and The Shield
Author(s): Aelora
Date(s): 05 August 2009
Length: 62,609 words
Genre: slash fanfiction
Fandom: Merlin
External Links: story link and fanart
The Mirror, The Sword and The Shield (Ebook Library)
The Mirror, The Sword and The Shield (ePub Bud)
The Worg (2009) by xenakis. Story illustration done in a characteristic stained-glass style. The center image features Merlin, Arthur and a deadly beast in a scene from the story and it is framed by depictions of Camelots knights, representing their role in this novel.

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The Mirror, The Sword and The Shield is a Merlin/Arthur slash novel by Aelora. It was part of the Merlin Big Bang Box of Magic in 2009. Word count: 62,609.

Summary: "Fate is a fickle mistress – or rather, the Fates are. When the Wyrd Sisters offer Nimueh a second chance to fulfill her destiny, she takes the opportunity to seek revenge on Merlin. When Uther enters the equation, Nimueh's victory seems certain. Loyalties and allegiances are tested, making Merlin question the lengths that Arthur will go to in order to protect him. Through daring escapes, attempted coups, and fierce battles, Merlin and Arthur discover that the twisting threads of fate are not easily understood, and that the webs they spin cannot be readily escaped."

The Big Bang artwork for this story includes a fanfic cover by Korilian (photoshop), an illustration by farlights, and an illustration titled "The Worg" by xenakis (Photoshop, Church Window style).

Recs and Reviews

  • "Merlin Verse AU. Nimueh plants a magic book in Arthur's chambers and Arthur takes the blame for Merlin by saying the book was his. In order to clear both their names, Merlin and Arthur, soon followed by some loyal Knights, escape from Camelot and set out to find Nimueh and prove that it was all her doing." (reikokatsura)[1]
"Very long, plotty, Merlin/Arthur. It's got most of my favorite things - first time, Arthur finds out, and delicious Merlin and Arthur interaction." (giandujakiss)[2]

  • "Arthur taking the fall for Merlin and the fact that Uther might have really gone there, was chilling. I especially love how you fleshed out all the knights as actual people, that Arthur had a huge amount of history with in just a few scenes. The story won't be Arthur and his wizard after all. It's Arthur and the knights and the wizard. I'm exited about the future of Camelot." (korilian)[3]
"It was DARK, much darker than I thought it would be, and I loved it that much more for those elements because it made the men seem real in a way the show doesn't always succeed in. The stirrings of civil war between Uther and Arthur and the men they will become to one another, Merlin's fear now that he has come into his magic and he knows how slippery the line is between doing good and doing evil. You showed these three men with power and the ways they can fail. They circled each other throughout this entire story, and it was fucking gorgeous." (ladyflowdi)[4]

  • "The great thing about fanfiction is that it can build on the brilliance of an idea or a character, and take them where they could never go on screen. The best examples remain true to their origins but take us to places where our hearts and our wildest dreams want to go. Your story did all that for me and more. This is a very finely crafted tale of loss of innocence. Your Merlin and Arthur walk the tightrope of despair, desire and the corrupting nature of power in a way I've rarely seen portrayed in any fandom; they emerge from your adventures as the equals legend demands they must be, each kept from the brink by the redemptive power of love. [...] there are two moments from this tale that I must single out. The first is almost the last: when Arthur, still bleeding from the realisation that he will never truly have his father's understanding, quietly makes clear to Uther that the reins of power are his at a time of his own choosing. Chilling and glorious. The second - and the one that will stay with me always - is when Merlin fights fear of discovery and physical arousal to slow down time as he and Arthur make love for the first time. That he is very soon overcome by desire, and ultimately finds the strength to contain his magic in the solidity of Arthur's embrace, only makes the preceeding moment more powerful." (reveuse2)[5]


  1. ^ reikokatsura. [Rec List:] Merlin/Arthur Fics + Links, 24 June 2010. (Accessed 20 July 2010)
  2. ^ giandujakiss. Merlin fic rec, 21 September 2009. (Accessed 20 July 2010)
  3. ^ korilian. Comment, 07 August 2009. (Accessed 20 July 2010)
  4. ^ ladyflowdi. Comment, 12 August 2009. (Accessed 20 July 2010)
  5. ^ reveuse2. Comment, 16 August 2009. (Accessed 20 July 2010)