/mlp/ Fanfic Reviews

The Long Death

FimFiction Link - Short ID: 506839/the-long-death

Published: Nov '21

Review in No. 37823335
'The Long Death' is a one thousand and eight hundred-word shortfic. Nightmare Moon has triumphed over Daybreaker and crowned herself queen of Equestria. Now her power consolidated, she confides with her supreme general about how to proceed from here, lamenting the fact that more and more revolts happen. As she muses her situation, her compatriot suddenly stabs her with a sword and explains how Eqeustria has just traded one tyrant for another and how he'll be the one to end the cycle and bring democracy to the kingdom. NMM in her death-throes accepts this and silently wishes luck. A timeskip later Canterlot is in flames. The new king is just as tyrannical as the previous two and King Sombra, who's for some reason good, surveys the situation with resignation, knowing he can't help them.
"Heavy is the head that wears the crown" is the quote that immediately came to my mind as I've read through the story. The concept of a monarch, who wants to do the best for her people but ultimately becomes the very monster she feared is an intriguing one. I also liked the fairly detailed description the author gave to NMM's appearance, it didn't ultimately add much to the narrative, but it was nicely done. I also liked the concept that the naive idea of suddenly dismantling a corrupt monarchy just fails. It's way more realistic than the more obvious outcome.
However, for all the nice descriptions the story has, it suffers from fatal shortness. It is implied that NMM's rule is bad, there being protests and her methods being reason for what happens to her, but the fic does little to explain the situation in any nuanced way. Which is a shame because what NMM would do if she actually won is woefully underrepresented in the show, which makes it great material for writers. How the whole situation came to be is also something that's left sorely vague. Why is Sombra still alive and good? Why did Celestia and Luna turn into their evil selves? Is this story actually supposed to be far in the past and
>He left Equestria to own devices, he left it to burn. ‘Maybe from its ashes something pure can rise?’ he thought
implies that the sisters eventually came to their senses and the kingdom depicted in the show is a successor state of the original Equestria? All questions left unanswered.
Overall: 4/10 I'm not happy to give this fic such a low score, because the concept itself is great. However, the story simply does very little with it. Reading it isn't necessarily a waste of time, but will most likely leave you with more questions than answers.