/mlp/ Fanfic Reviews

The Diarchy

FimFiction Link - Short ID: 502583/the-diarchy

Published: Sep '21

Review in No. 37499132
>a much needed breath of OP immortal alicorn after years of fics nerfing the fuck out of them
>why does Celestia always act retarded when she's completely immortal and overpowered?
>it's a "I don't have a plan for the sun and moon after I kill the princesses" villain

Evil bad guy with a thin backstory because it's a oneshot invades Canterlot and gets wrecked: the fic. Not a bad story, but the short oneshot nature makes for a very weak villain who's only real purpose is to show off the cool immortal alicorn antics, which is fine, since those are cool, but the plot could have been deepened by expanding the invasion a bit, building up the attacks, and fleshing out his personality until the subversive climax.

For some reason, immortal OP alicorns get their brains nerfed. Celestia's strategy is retarded. Waiting in Canterlot while Equestria's armies get slaughtered, causing the whole country to descend into a panic, then nearly blowing up Canterlot and destroying the castle to destroy said army ranks very low on the list of warfic tactics. It only seems to exist to give tension to the conflict.
Review in No. 37508193
'The Diarchy' is a six thousand and three hundred-word shortfic about the unfortunate consequences of choosing the worst two ponies to mess with.
A young prince marches on Canterlot with the intent of killing Celestia and Luna to avenge some alleged offenses their kingdom has inflicted on his own. While the story does somewhat operate with personal drama, it's first and foremost dealing with light politics and the shameless exploration of just how utterly overpowered the princesses are.
From the very beginning of the story the author makes it clear that the prince has just walked into a situation in which he's gonna lose, outmatched both physically and mentally, the only question remaining whether he does so with his life intact or not. I like how Celestia is playing 4D chess. Even though her emotional side hopes for the best possible outcome, she nonetheless considers every single outcome and when things take an unfortunate turn doesn't hesitate to resolve the problem in a very spectacular fashion.
The tension rises very organically and the climax gave me chills. Few stories can just suddenly have a seemingly dead character reform herself like she wasn't just stabbed in the heart with a poisoned blade and then unleash the equivalent of an ion-cannon in a way that doesn't feel campy. This is one of such stories. The prince too acts in a way that fits the story perfectly. He is a tragic victim of circumstances, who ultimately dooms himself by failing to step above his false beliefs.
On the flip-side, I kind of feel like Luna is underused in the story. She doesn't really do much even though she has a foreboding intro. I feel like the author just included her, because the story's title is 'The Diarchy' and making her completely absent would've been weird. I know Celestia has the situation fully under her control through the whole story, but this still causes her to basically just tag along and her role largely just boils down to acting as the empathetic wall Celestia bounces her ideas off. Still, I have to say
>And We decline thee.
was an awesome one-liner.
Ultimately, the only "negative" - if you can even call it that - thought I've had after the story is that I haven't seen enough of this world. Stories that focus on the macro-side of things (international politics, how the actions of the characters can affect nations, etc.) are a favorite of mine and so are stories that handle the introduction of technology into a world of magic. The culture shock of "mundane" inventions outperforming magic is a fascinating subject and one I'm always glad to see in stories, including this one.
Overall: 8/10 Feels, fights and a fiery epilogue. If you like the concept of OP Alicorns this story will not disappoint. And even if you aren't that into the concept, you'll still likely find the prose and dialogue satisfying. I highly recommend this story.