Path of the King
"With swords that aren't yours, with skills that aren't yours, for dreams that aren't yours. Your entire existences is a lie!" - "Then I'll show you that even fake dreams can become reality." A different choice, a different path, a different FATE.
So, what can I say about Path of the King? Well, for starters it is one of only two Fate/Stay Night fanfics I have ever read, the other being Promises of a Wandering Hero. Both fanfics were made by Neoalfa, who is a rather impressive writer from what I have seen of both these stories.
The story starts off as a rather standard "what if Main Protagonist A started off in a better position before the canon takes place" type of story.
Anyone who has ever seen the Fate/Stay Night anime or played the visual novel knows the tale of Shirou Emiya. I myself have never watched the anime or played the novel, but I know enough to know that Shirou was rescued by Kiritugu Emiya at the end of the Holy Grail War. From his adoptive father (who, ironically enough was the cause of the fire that nearly killed Shirou), Emiya gains his desire to become a hero. This leaves him with a very bad Hero complex that borders on and maybe even is a full-blown Martyr Without a Cause, which causes him to put himself in harms way for the sake of others even when those others neither need nor want his aid.
This fanfic takes a different turn from the canon right at the very beginning. According to the Author's Notes left by Neoalfa, in the canon, Shirou Emiya never actually tried to become a Hero in spite of saying that was his dream/goal, and that he never worked towards becoming a hero until the Fourth Holy Grail War. In the third chapter of this fanfic, we see the difference when Rin Tohsaka has a run in with Archer, an infamous vigilante who's been protecting the citizens of Fuyuki city.
Kinda reminds you of a certain big, black, bat, doesn't he?
Naturally, this "Archer" is in fact Shirou Emiya, who has decided to use his considerable skills with a bow, some martial arts he learned from his teacher (which he did not have in canon), and a bit of well-concealed magic to defend the innocent in his attempt at achieving his dream of being a Hero. We see right off the bat that Shirou is in a better position in this fanfic than his canon counterpart. Not only does he use his skills with a bow, he was already trained in martial combat, and his magic lessons from his father were apparently a bit better than what they were in canon (he knows how to properly open up his circuits and doesn't create a circuit via his nerves).
Stories like this are a dime a dozen, however, where this story differs from your average "let's make the Main Protagonist better because we want him to be better" stories lies within Neoalfa's ability to tell it better than other people. Unlike a good deal of stories with this kind of plotline, Neoalfa has better grammar, better English, a better ability to weave a good tale, and is not afraid of diverging from canon for the sake of his story.
What's more, the fanfiction contains enough canonical information that even someone like myself, who has never in watched, read or played Fate/Stay Night, has gained a decent grasp of the Nasuverse's background and the basic science behind it's magic.
This fanfiction is not actually complete. Truth be told, it looks like it's a long way from completion, but for those who don't mind waiting for the next chapter to come out, I would recommend reading it if you haven't already. I give this fanfiction an 8.5/10 only because there are still a few English mistakes that detract from the overall story, otherwise it would be a 9/10.