• Member Since 28th May, 2020
  • offline last seen 9 hours ago

Not That Anon


Yep, definitely not him.

T
Source

Far from civilization, in places still left blank on all maps, one can sometimes find wonders of magic that predate even Equestria. Beautiful and dangerous, they’re a silent reminder of the world as it once was. But they’re also a threat to the travelers from the growing Principality of Equestria, so when Princess Luna discovers an unnatural blemish in the texture of her dreamscape, she doesn’t wait to investigate it.

Little does she know that the creator of that blemish is already waiting for her.


A reading performed by Skijarama!

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 6 )

Love this piece, if not for the world-building, then certainly for the atmosphere: I especially love the transition between the waking world and the world of dreams. I love seeing grand Equestrian histories told to their end. Thanks for writing.

A very interesting tale, one that left me wondering. Wondering about many things, I must say, including the fic itself. I can say that I liked it, but it is hard to quantify how much. I am glad to feel this uneasy because it's not often that I get these sensations out of a story, my experience tends to be a lot more cutthroat, for good or bad, so this is a novelty.

For starters I'll say that I really enjoyed the atmosphere to this story. The descriptions served its purpose in the creation of intrigue, but most of all, I loved the ambiguity of it all. There's a very interesting dynamic going on between Luna and the merchant that results in a tense exchange in which intentions are both clear and diffuse. Clear in how there is an obvious hostility, up to murderous intent, but there's also an immensely deep pit of patience in Luna's part to help the merchant. Once again, we return to your characterization of the princesses as paragons of virtue, gentle guides and carers for the downtrodden and the happy alike. I do like seeing Luna in this role in a way that doesn't breach character, although I must say that I had a bit of trouble following up on her characterization at times. There was some inconsistency in how she confronted the merchant's attitude; at times I was entirely sure she was aware of the goings-on in the mansion, but her facial expressions and reactions to certain elements betrayed much more bewilderment than I assumed would be the case. As a result, I'm not sure how much of Luna's conduct is due to her wisdom and how much to luck. I prefer the former because I think that is what you were going for, and I enjoy that idea much more. Either way, I thought there was a slight disconnect between Luna's attitude and her reactions.

The merchant was wonderfully characterized and described. I really liked the way you hinted at his design throughout the story in a way that I could never get a completely clear picture of his appearance, but rather it kept shifting without it ever being attractive or pleasant. It helped to reinforced his tortured state in a way that a simple description would not have done, and the way in which his emotions determined his look was another great element of mystique to the narrative that I quite enjoyed.

In general, there is a great sense of gothic fairy tale to this tale, something I must confess my fondness for. I love that, and I believe you juggled these two elements beautifully in a way that left me with a wonderful taste in my mouth. Let that be made clear so that any criticism I make does not take away from my satisfaction with the story.

As for the backstory, I quite liked it, although there seems to be something missing, at least for me. There are a lot of interesting details that I frankly loved for their subtlety. For example, how the boat was the last thing he had left to sell, which I think is a subdued but wonderful bit of characterization and storytelling. Details such as that one, implemented correctly, result in a very engaging and rewarding narrative. The build up to it creates quite a few expectations and I think the payoff is satisfying. Discord in a Mephistopheles-like role is a favorite trope of mine, and I am happy with the ending we got. I think the only element I find a bit lackluster is the specifics of the merchant's backstory. I suspect it is the way it is presented, but I couldn't help but wish for a more emotional punch. In paper the story has a solid base, it just didn't click with me as it was shown through conversation. I'm not sure whether more or less would have made me feel more affected by it, but as it is I could only enjoy it as a founding block for the current goings of of the story more on a narrative sense than on an emotional one. Nonetheless, I believe it works.

The final few twists the fact that every single thing had to be sold and replaced, the fate of those who were missing, the conclusion itself are great and support the fairy-tale quality of the story without taking away from the tragedy. It is not a fable or even a parallel, it is just this romantic (in the literary sense) tragedy that, honestly, reminds me of a lot of 19th century classics I've read. I would consider that a worthy qualifier for this story. I believe it is a solid piece, with a few elements that kind of falter in my eyes, but which nonetheless results in a satisfying experience I do not regret spending reading or even writing about. The kind of melancholic bittersweetness I have come to expect and look forward to in your stories. What else but, well done. This might not be my favorite among your work, but it is definitely worthy of your bookshelf.

I thoroughly enjoyed the beauty and charm that were painted here. Something to soothe the mind, not unlike a dream itself. Thanks for that.

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Thanks! It's great to hear that you liked the atmosphere, because I'd be lying if I said that it wasn't at least partially influenced by the kind of stories that you tend to write.

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You wrote a better analysis of the story than anything I could come up with, and I'm the author of the fic! I'm glad that the parts that I was proud of the most (especially the atmosphere) carried through, but I also thank you for pointing out the stuff that I could've maybe handled a bit differently.

11724738
Thank you for the comment, I'm glad you liked it!

What a beautiful thing.

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