FimFiction Link - Short ID: 491951/peace-in-our-time
Published: Apr '21
'Peace in Our Time' is a two thousand and one hundred-word EaW oneshot. A pony soldier wanders around the ruins of Vesapolis, when she encounters a young changeling soldier.
I have to say, I really like the prose in this story. Though obviously, due to it being two thousand words, the author's only had a limited opportunity to show off his craft, but I definitely enjoyed what I've seen here. The descriptions of the rubble and the destroyed city is vivid and play into multiple senses, which is always great for immersion. This is further true for the author's description of Chrysalis's destroyed tower and the way the motifs of battle (the ringing of gunfire, impacts of artillery, etc.) are evoked, but then immediately ushered away by saying that there is silence on the streets. It creates a sort of dynamic that works almost as flashbacks without actually being them and I haven't really seen many fics that do this.
The actual narrative itself is a very valiant effort to tell a story despite the short length. I wouldn't call it a particularly original plot, I think we have all seen stories like this before, perhaps not in a pony context, but it's a common enough theme. Still it is an archetype presented quite well. I like how the story plays with the idea of presenting both sides as similar in ways and how the main character is equated to the changeling she finds, but I wish the author went into more detail. As it stands it's the beginning of a well-presented thought that gets nipped at the bud and has its conclusions rushed, instead of having the time to naturally expand into a proper comparison. There isn't really any proper depiction of what's going on, just an almost bulletpoint-list of "Equestria did this horrifying thing, while the Changelings did that similar horrifying thing." This I feel spills over into the presentation of the two characters of the story: I very much understand what the author was going for and I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel for them at all, but because the horrors of war are only skimmed over and the conflict is resolved in about five hundred words or so, it's hard to feel truly invested in them. Plus the story's description already heavily implies what the conclusion is going to be, which hurts the suspense somewhat. Still, I must admit that I found the final few paragraphs of the story beautiful and it made the fic well-worth the few minutes I spent on it.
Overall: 6/10 There really isn't too much to say here. The story doesn't really do anything new and even what it does present suffers from the short length, but despite this the author's care and skill still manages to shine through and present a sweet and emotional ending for a dark story.