FimFiction Link - Short ID: 55377/blueblood-hero-of-equestria
Published: Oct '12 — Oct '19
Blueblood: Hero of Equestria is a roughly 420k word long story. Its an alternate universe Equestria where the failure at the wedding was merely Chrysalis's Pearl Harbor moment leading ponyland into war.
It follows Blueblood who is delightfully in character for what we see of him in the show, and he keeps that aloof airiness basically throughout the entire book. Its a set of memoirs covering Bluebloods life immediately preceding the start of the great changeling war and covers all the events leading up to the resolution of the first battles as Equestria struggles to mobilize and Chrysalis refuses to fight at all fairly.
Celestia occasionally cuts in when further context is needed, and the publication date is some decade after Blueblood's death following the war.
Basically the premise is this. Blueblood is a noble. He is a fop, but because he's a noble he needs to be good at doing noble things and needs to be seen doing them. for example when your god queen aunt tells you to dress up like a stazi and keep order in the ranks of their brand new army, refusing would be a massive loss of face, so he bears it entirely.
Why does Luna pressgang her nephew? Because Blueblood was a gigantic coward, and after the initial invasion, a party he was at was invaded by changelings, and in order to escape he had to run away into the catacombs. Where the changelings just happened to be hiding. A bunch of things line up and he's caught killing a changeling officer. It of course is publicized and he ends up looking like a big damn hero.
This kind of setup happens frequently, if thats not something you enjoy you will not like this fic.
Blueblood: The star of the show and boy does he own it. I do not think there is a single fic on the website with a better blueblood, thats still actually blueblood. This Platinum Crown and its prequel had interesting things but unlike that, this actually stays true to the charachter we see in the show, and he never actually abandons his aristocratic demeanor. Now, granted, in order for the story to work believably he does have to adopt the "I need to make friends with the soldiers largely under my command or else they'll be less liable to jump in front of changeling bullets" version of self-serving heroism. I think it fits.
Cannon Fodder: As far as I can tell hes a direct Expy of Jurgen from the Ciaphus Cain novels, right down to the fact that magic tends to go fucky around him. He's a smelly stinky workhorse that blueblood employs because hes largely so repugnant that people generally leave blueblood alone. He doesnt say very much and is basically Blueblood's errandboy but he is extremely competent and enjoys his work.
Twilight Sparkle: She's drafted before her ascension to do a review on the armed forces after a catastrophic failure. The Twilight Sparkle Reforms and her part in researching for them are a huge source of conflict and drama for the entire book, and her budding romance with Blueblood feels surprisingly natural for such a crack-ship sounding pairing.
Princess Celestia: Her only presence in the story is moving in to give insight on Bluebloods backstory, and the surrounding politics not immediately related to blueblood and wouldnt be reasonably written by someone as "Self-centered" as he is. Generally speaking we dont see her as anything more then a glorified historian.
Princess Luna: Back from the moon and eager to prove herself she is rather impetuous when it comes to waging the war. Something that bites her in the ass, hard. She grossly underestimates her opponents and its only through one of the few moments of genuine heroism on bluebloods part that theres not a dead princess. Chryssy does not fight fair.
The Changelings: Theyre painted largely as a monolithic force, that feels no mercy or regret and marches ever onward and unerringly. There's a real sense of menace and its also one of the few changeling fics where theyre this kind of antagonist where they do not have a hivemind. Instead theyre Not!Japanese. They dont get a whole lot of characterization, but they have a real threat level
Scarlet letter: He's the antagonist, and its obvious as soon as he shows up that hes gonna be a traitor. He is everything that makes stereotypical nobles shit, only there because of nepotism and only staying despite his incompetence because he wants to win an election.
Overall its a fun romp. Its a little darker and edgier then the equestria we know and love but the worldbuilding is solid and the author does a good job of selling the changeling threat. If I were to make a comparison, its closer to AdmiralSakai's darker equestria then it is to Kkat's Edgequestria. There is some early installment weirdness that is retconned in the following story to distance itself from the commissariat of the warhammer lore that its clearly homaging, and it sets itself rather well as the pilot for a long-running series.
In isolation I give it an 8/10 for the good characterization, the worldbuilding and the excellent humor. A great story if you like warfics that pay attention to logistics and have a somewhat realistic bent. ITs also a wonderful charachter study of Blueblood himself, and in all the fiction I've read this is far and away the best one with him in it.