Pairing: Kalasin of Conté/Kaddar Ghazanoi Iliniat
Fic Title: Lonely at the Top
Rating/Warning(s): Teen. Mentions of induced miscarriage. Written before TQ, so contradicts some quasi-canon about the Conte family.
WIP?: No. Completed MC.
Why This Must Be Read: During a lonely time, Kalasin Iliniat of Conté, empress of Carthak, receives a visit from her sister the princess Lianne of Conté and her friend Buri.
I don't read baby!fics, as a rule. They're just not my thing. But Lonely at the Top did appeal to me for a great many reasons, starting from an atmosphere that I did not expect, but rings true to me. Kalasin and Kaddar get a single throw-away line mentioning their marriage, in canon, but this author breathes life into the intricacies, push-pulls and yet very present affection and love that they could have. It also includes a dollop of court intrigue and a LOT of wonderful platonic bonding, to round it out. I particularly love that though this story isn't actually focused on romance, the romance is so well done that it becomes a cornerstone of this story.
Kalasin had always been close to Thayet, but a special part of her heart was reserved for Jonathan. He loved each of his children deeply, but Kalasin, his first daughter, had a special place in his heart. It hadn't stopped him from dissuading her from enrolling as a page. It hadn't stopped him from sending her to Carthak and an arranged marriage to a stranger. But he contacted her frequently through magic. Even when the war had stretched him and his concentration thinner than anyone liked, he was the Voice of the Bazhir. After communing with the desert tribes, once a week he contacted Kalasin. But not even magic could make up for no longer sitting at his side during evening meal.
She had known how to prepare his favorite drink and snack after a stressful day. Kalasin had always been the child who wanted to please, wanted to make others around her happy. She had a powerful Gift to heal, and her entire personality was geared toward healing wounds. Once, she had wanted to do heroic deeds. Now, she concentrated on healing the wounds left on and by warriors.
"Let's see." Lianne mused. "Uncle Gary and Cythera are happy as larks, though Uncle Gary worries after us all, you in particular, since you are so far from his watchful eye. Their girls are the light of their father's life, while their son is the light of Cythera's. The Duke is greatly enjoying watching what goes around come around, if you know what I mean, though he's resting on the estate at Naxen under the Duchess's eye. Father sent Nora to them until the Court calms down over her latest rash of pranks. Raoul and Buri get on quite well together. No children, but plenty of duty. Myles and Eleni are busy as bees and rather content, now that the war is ending."