/mlp/ Fanfic Reviews

Sun and Shield

FimFiction Link - Short ID: 544597/sun-and-shield

Published: Oct '23Nov '23

Review in No. 40763094
Sun and Shield is a 108k word Apocalyptic survival story. A prequel to And Hell Followed, and a vast improvement in every way.
In Ponyville a group of ponies survived a monster filled hell and saved the world, it was much worse in Canterlot.
The story takes place just as the magical disease starts spreading through Equestria, with rumours coming from Ponyville of Princess Twilight's illness. From the start, we mainly follow Rose Wreath, a pegasus who's part of the guard and has the peculiarity of belonging to an old religion that reveres Princess Celestia as a goddess.
This already gives it something that AHF didn't have: a theme. Faith is a pretty important topic throughout the story. Not just faith in the princesses, or that this whole disaster won't turn into a full blown apocalypse, but also faith in your fellow ponies, faith in the choices you make. Also, lack of faith. The loss of faith. The mockery of those who hold on to faith.
I wouldn't call it perfect, but it was quite refreshing to see a fanfic pick a theme, bother to explore it beyond the superficial, and go through with it until the end.
Speaking of the end, all I'll say is that it packs a punch. Going back to what I mentioned earlier, most of the cast constantly derides, ridicules, or outright antagonise Rose Wreath for holding onto her faith to Celestia. Which is actually justified by some of the choices she makes in the story. Nevertheless, the pressure of having survived the hell (heh) that was Canterlot, as well as all the losses ends up being too much for her, and in a genuinely sad moment, you see her turn against somepony who had slowly started to accept friendship. Just because she couldn't take the mockery anymore.
Strong themese, solid character arcs, engaging interactions, tense action, and just all around enjoyable writing.
Considering how it takes place parallel to the events of AHF, you don't need to read that story to enjoy Sun and Shield, and I think you just may enjoy it if you give it a shot.