What heart's ease must queens neglect

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Title: What heart's ease must queens neglect
Author(s): thrace
Date(s): Published February 14 – May 8, 2017
Length: 83,284 words; 8 chapters
Genre: Modern AU, Royalty AU, femslash
Fandom: The 100
External Links: AO3 link
Goodreads link

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What heart's ease must queens neglect by thrace is a popular Clexa fanfiction hosted on Archive of Our Own. It is a modern royalty AU that was published in 8 chapters from February 14 to May 8, 2017. It is part one in a two-part series titled Markenland.

The summary from AO3:

Lexa is going to drag her country into the modern age kicking and screaming if she has to. Enter Clarke Griffin, United Nations election observer.

On AO3, the fic has in excess of 102k hits, 8.2k kudos, 1k comments, and 1.3k bookmarks as of January 2021.


From Milena McKay's review for The Lesbian Review:[1]

What Heart's Ease Must Queens Neglect is thrace's take on re-imagining Clexa as star-crossed lovers in this Magnificent Clexa Royal Romance AU.

The wonderful story is set in the fictional absolute monarchy of Markenland. The last of its kind in Europe, the isolationist country is located geographically somewhere in the wooden wonderland between Switzerland and Austria.

Queen Lexa of Markenland is a young reformer who is trying to drag her country, kicking and screaming, into the new age. By triggering democratic elections she is endeavoring to transform it into a modern parliamentary monarchy. Young, haughty, surrounded by mystery and a powerful aura of an absolute monarch, Queen Lexa cuts a magnificent figure. Yet, beneath the powerful veneer, she is standing all alone in the face of her destiny.

Enter Clarke Griffin, the plucky, resourceful and fiercely loyal UN dignitary, leading a delegation of UN observers tasked with observing and legitimizing the first ever democratic elections in Markenland. Between staying impartial in the performing of her observer role and her budding attraction and feelings for the mysterious royal, Clarke walks a very thin line.

The pair start off with a terse exchange and continue with a series of tense encounters, amplified by the secrecy and conflict that surrounds the young Queen. The palace intrigue, plotting noblemen and assassination attempts add to the angst of the story.

With seemingly the whole world against their budding romance, will the lovers find a way to be together? With the rigors of royal responsibilities weighing heavily on the fragile shoulders of the young queen, will she put her country first and deny herself the chance to be happy? Or will she forsake her royalty for love?

Thrace writing and pacing of the story is such that it transitions perfectly from one scene to another, building up the tension and the romance slowly yet inescapably. Once it draws you in, the story is impossible to put down. The author also manages to pay close attention to the character development, closely entwining it with the complex story. Lexa and Clarke’s personalities shine through their actions, very much true to their TV show selves.

While the author chose to simplify elations in general and what UN election observers do on the ground, I will not go all UN geek on you and simply say that some literary license has been taken here and there with the process.

Additionally, Snow White is not part of The 100 fandom, but if she was, she'd be super annoying in this fanfic.

The story can be split perfectly in three parts, starting with tense and angsty buildup towards elections. It continues with years of pinning and longing, expressed in thousands of letters the star-crossed protagonists exchange. Finally the story culminates with the wonderfully fluffy third part, when the pair are finally allowed by faith and circumstances to be together. The author holds the reader’s hand through the captivating story, bringing them gently to a perfect resolution and the hoped for HEA.

Reactions and Reviews

yours in one story that you need a moment to bask in once it is over, and then keep it forever so as to read it as often as possible. this was truly an incredibly unique and fascinating read, and i enjoyed every word. you have explored a side to these characters that is both familiar and refreshingly new, and absolutely addicting. you are an incredible writer, and i am eager for what you have in store for the future. thank you for such an amazing story.[2]

I've read a lot of Clexa stories, but this one has risen to my list of favorites. You captured the conflicts that divide a leader's heart and mind, but still gave Lexa such quiet and honest dignity. And you revealed the confident, loving, bright person Clarke might have become in a life not riddled with untenable pressures and choices. (And... oh, thank you for rising action that didn't involve betrayal.)

More than that, I appreciated the unique worldbuilding, with landscape and literature so infused in Markish culture that they touched every aspect of Lexa and Clarke's romance. I loved it--thanks so much.[3]

Perfection. What a fantastic final segment of this story. My heart was in my throat at so many points during this story. This has been my all time favorite fic- the world building, the characterization, my god the letters. Selfishly, I hope you continue the story somehow; perhaps in an occasional one shot. It would be so fantastic to have a peek into the new Markenland post royal wedding. Thank you for this absolute treat of a work.[4]

I binged this all in a day; it is truly fantastic. I would be so happy if this was the canon universe for these character, it could easily be on the screen - so vivid and well researched. Also, unabashedly romantic - not usually my thing but I could be a convert. New favourite.[5]

Oh. My. God. This story is simply incredible. Your worldbuiling is torough, realistic and fits the pairing very well. The evolution of their relationship over the years, the struggles of being separated and growing without the other and finally realizing what they want were really well-written and gave depth to an already amazing story. I loved this fic from start to finish, it is truly a masterpiece, thanks a lot for sharing ![6]

This is without a doubt. The best fanfic. I'm ever read. PLEASE know that this fic made me laugh and cry countless times and op if I ever meet you irl I'm going to give you 20 dollars[7]

i haven't watched a single episode of the 100, and yet from time to time i find myself reading clexa fanfiction, purely because they are usually amazing, and this one is no exception. i am a total sucker for royals/common folk pairings, though this is my first time reading about one in a modern setting and i gotta say it was so interesting!! i loved every word of this story, thank you for writing it~[8]



  1. ^ "A Magnificent Clexa Royal Romance AU: Fanfic Review" by Milena McKay on The Lesbian Review. November 20, 2020. Archived version.
  2. ^ Review by snixnbritt on AO3. May 9, 2017. Archived version.
  3. ^ Review by wayside474 on AO3. May 9, 2017. Archived version.
  4. ^ Review by Heygirl_hey on AO3. May 9, 2017. Archived version.
  5. ^ Review by beastinpeace on AO3. March 15, 2018. Archived version.
  6. ^ Review by missmister128 on AO3. April 14, 2018. Archived version.
  7. ^ Review by mine321 on AO3. May 11, 2019. Archived version.
  8. ^ Review by roaringroa on AO3. January 14, 2020. Archived version.