FimFiction Link - Short ID: 195240/succession
Published: Jun '14
'Succession' is a fifteen thousand-word oneshot. After over a thousand years, a new alicorn is born. Once her presence was noticed, the Queen's soldiers quickly arrived to take the child away from her family, for reasons she couldn't understand. The Queen's goals, both selfish and selfless at the same time, ultimately change her life forever.
If I had to choose a single word to describe this story, it'd be "romantic." Not in the sense of love, but rather that the whole fic just oozes character from its picturesque descriptions and small nods towards the greater world. Despite the fact that it's set more than a thousand years after the events of FiM, this rendition of Equestria feels somehow even more feudal than the one we are used to. The only piece of technology the author depicts is an airship, everything else is charmingly rustic and invokes a feeling of a more idyllic middle ages.
The characters don't disappoint either. As this fic was a submission to the 'Most Dangerous Game' prompt, it had to tackle one of several hard topics, and the author chose an OC alicorn. Her character is immediately sympathetic. Despite her special nature, she's neither snobby nor egoistical and her only wish is to be allowed to go home to her loving parents. The "villain," Twilight, whose intentions are almost immediately revealed to be benevolent, even if a tad selfish, is characterized nicely as well. She has over a thousand year behind her, most of which she survived alone, giving her a certain aloofness, which only sometimes cracks to reveal her hurt and lonely side. Even before her agenda is fully revealed, small nods like how relaxed the guards and her counsel is around her reveals that she's not here to take heads, which is exactly the kind of indirect storytelling I really-really like. Honestly, the only character I can't really place anywhere is the Queen's advisor. She gets relatively a lot of screen-time, but before long she completely loses relevance and exits the plot. I'm not sure if I'm missing something or the author just accidentally featured her more than he intended to.
My biggest "problem" is something many great stories suffer from: We don't get to see nearly enough of this world. Don't get me wrong, the dynamics between Twilight and the OC are really well done. I consider the time I spent reading this fic well worth it. However, when the story ended, I sort of felt like I've been allowed a glimpse into an interesting world, but before I could really immerse myself in it, the book was closed on my face. At the risk of sounding entitled, fifteen thousand words is simply not enough and many of the events that are only mentioned in off-hand sentences sound just as interesting as the events depicted here.
Overall: 8/10 Despite its length, the fic manages to craft a deeply intriguing world and tell a competent, if a little too short story in it. I highly recommend it.