Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Ponyfic Roundup 159: It was Twenty Years Ago Today

Read it Later story count: 447 (+3)

Okay, I'm 30 years and a few days late on the release date, but never mind. :P This week, by dint of some supreme effort and nice enough weather to read in the garden occasionally, I've managed to get through a whole four stories. Go me. Here they are:

The Old Guard by Visiden Visidane
Gods-In-Law by Pearple Prose
The Princess and the Knight by GlaciesFrost
The Call by RealCrimsonBlade

★: 1 | ★★: 2 | ★★★: 0 | ★★★★: 1 | ★★★★★: 0

The Old Guard by Visiden Visidane
Dark; 3k words; Apr 2014; Everyone
Within the Eternal Herd's Plane of Ida, an old warrior on the verge of resting tests the next generation.
I apparently read this last year, but I didn't review it then and don't remember it at all. Anyway: I read this as if it were a standalone story, because there's nothing in its description to say it isn't. There is an A/N to say that it's set in the Upheaval universe, but a) it still doesn't tell me what that is, and b) my basic Nook doesn't always copy A/Ns over properly so I missed it. As such, I didn't really understand what was going on here, beyond that alicorns were battling in some sort of eternal tournament for no immediately apparent reason. There's a lot of vocabulary that I imagine is wonderfully satisfying for those who know the setting, but which I found a bit overwhelming and confusing. A canon character does turn up at the end, which at least anchors it a bit, given the lack of an [Alternate Universe] tag. The whole thing has a tremendously epic feel to it, but without knowing what it's being epic about I can't fully enjoy it – hence that two-star rating. For goodness' sake, authors, say in the description if your story isn't a standalone! ★★

Gods-In-Law by Pearple Prose
Twilight, Celestia and Others
Romance/Slice of Life; 7k words; May 2014; Everyone
Celestia and Twilight are in a relationship. Twilight wants to meet Celestia's parents. Celestia, understandably, is terrified. After all, it's always awkward when one's parents aren't exactly ponies at all.
TwiLestia is a fact here from the start, so back out now if you hate that. If you don't, though, this is very good reading. Although not tagged as such, there's a mystery at the heart of this fic: what's up with Celestia's parents, and why doesn't Tia want Twilight to meet them? The answer is one I found both unexpected and increasingly unsettling, even with the welcome touches of comedy sprinkled into the mix. If you can bear the pairing, give this one a look. ★★★★

The Princess and the Knight by GlaciesFrost
Twilight, Celestia, Luna, Cadance and Shining Armor
Drama/Romance/Slice of Life; 6k words; Nov 2016; Everyone
Cadance and Shining Armor start their courtship.
The first (and so far only) story from this author, and despite its rather clich├ęd "Girls' Day Out" setup – the four princesses are at the spa – it doesn't do badly. The description is misleading: what we actually get here is Cadance looking back at the start of her relationship, and rather startling Twilight in the process. The writing is occasionally clunky ("Celestia said knowingly") but not terrible by any means. Don't expect this fic's plot to sync perfectly with the "Neigh Anything" IDW comics arc, but on its own merits it's a cute bit of backstory and a very solid two. ★★

Bittersweet Truth or Deadly Silence by EclipseNightshade
Random; 1k words; Nov 2016; Teen
Is a name one's destiny? If so, what could my name "Eclipse Nightshade" mean? Perhaps I'll introduce myself and find out.
A strange story, this, if indeed it's a story at all. The narrator, not only a self-insert but a self-insert winged wolf, spends much of the time monologuing at the reader on the nature of pony (and winged wolf) names, an interesting topic in the context of MLP but not really explored in depth here. Contrary to my fears, Eclipse is not a horribly overpowered superhero, but he still doesn't fit in Equestria. Mind you, the only other character to appear, who is not named but appears to be Fluttershy, certainly seems to accept him. What lets this down is the end, where it does descend into irritating angst, apparently relevant to the author's life but not of much interest to me. That pulls this down into one-star territory. ★

Next time on Ponyfic Roundup: in all probability, more stories starring ponies. Including Cleave by BlazzingInferno, because people keep pestering me to read it and I want a quiet life. :P


  1. I think your star chart's a little off and we're sailing over the edge of the world now. D:

  2. Fixed; thanks! No idea how I did that – what I had here wasn't even last week's chart! :P

  3. You have The Call in the top list in this post, but it doesn't actually get reviewed until the next post.