Sad shipping stories have a lot of marks against them from personal experience, but sometimes it's unwarranted. If you always judged a book by it's cover I can guarantee you wouldn't be on a pony review site right now. So sit back, read the review, and if you're feeling inclined, give the tale a try. Who knows? You might like it! The Heart of a Dragon after the break.
(The heart is such a fragile thing...)
Ten years after any of the events of the show Spike has grown into a majestic young dragon, and along with his body his love for Rarity has grown each day. After perfect preparations for the day he asks her on a picnic, having a wonderful time before he asks her if she'd be his mare.
Unfortunately, her mind is suddenly filled with thoughts of the fact that he is a dragon and she is frightened, rejecting him and sending him running for fear of scaring her more. Sorrowed by her rejection, he writes to Celestia, hoping the wise princess can help, and is told to visit the castle, setting off at once. There he has a wonderful time with her, giving a bit of comfort to his old friend as she shows him a side of herself she hides from public eye. Meanwhile, Rarity regrets her decision, coming to Twilight to explain herself and apologize and Twilight tells her where Spike went, leaving making it up to Spike Rarity's responsibility.
I would continue into part four, but that's when it starts to get spoiler-y, and since it was just updated today I don't want to ruin it yet. You'll just have to read it yourself.
There are three main characters and two minors as of yet, and they shall be covered in order or magnitude and order of appearance.
Spike is the caring drake of always, however in the ten years since the show he has matured wonderfully, and while his body is a bit odd (and I'm not sure he's a winged dragon, but I won't let that get in the way) his personality is simply charming. Awkward, kind in all ways, just the kind of guy you want to take under wing and help along his way. Unfortunately his reaction to rejection and existential questions almost feel a bit emo teenager, but what can you do? He's twelve, emo teen is quite the possibility, even if he is the most mature twelve I've ever seen (granted, this would make him 2 in the show somehow, and that is a VERY mature 2).
Rarity is... shallow. It improves, my does it improve, but to start she is a kinder, multi-faceted pony that is still the pinnacle of form and function that is shallower than your average puddle, which is kind of how she is always portrayed. However, I in no way fault the writer for this, as (apart from the initial fear reaction possibly being 'forced' for plot) it has all been very believable to the character from the show. Full marks!
Princess Celestia is just like any other pony, a full character with flaws and emotions that I really wish hadn't been hidden quite as much as they had in Spike's memory. We get a few moments of normal pony princess, but we get a bit more of very warm shipping target princess than anything. A little more time making her into more of a character and less of a ship and I think this could be one of my favorite varieties yet.
Twilight ends up playing middlemare when the relationship hooplah comes about, but she does so 'logically' and in a way I could totally see her doing (apart from one minor instance with Rarity) and I hope she makes a return later on. As Spike's big sister/mom figure she's done an excellent job and should be rewarded as such.
Princess Luna I hope is bigger than just the one appearance I have seen, not only because I am a firm supporter of the New Lunar Republic but because she ends up playing a fun voice of wisdom. The somewhat blunt way she delivered touchy subjects was also amusing, and while we miss the ROYAL CANTERLOT VOICE we suppose it can be ignored in this instance. I also want to see a bit of her 'under the mask' but that can wait as well.
A bit too much time was spent making things sad, build up lasting just a few instances too long and points hammered in a touch too forcefully, but overall it wasn't distracting or particularly bad, just noticeable. There was also a bit of a funky thing going on with dialogue. It didn't feel natural at all. Not like a bad movie bad, but like an alien speaking the language bad, like a little more practice was needed for it to be convincing. There were also a few typos that completely fell under 'just-missed-things-in-editing.' Though there also seems to be a strong undercurrent of the author having been hurt strongly by a past love, which while intriguing in a character, is not so much in the narrator and kind of has me wondering if there's an ulterior motive to all of this. Still, just a little tweaking and it could probably be a whole lot better.
Overall, yes. There were parts that were a bit overly melancholy and it's not all lackadaisical fun, but it is not at all a bad story. It's turned the corner to something possibly sad must mostly hopeful, and really, I like it. I eagerly await more.
Well, considering how much attention I gave this review it's a safe bet to say I like this story. In fact, I recommend this to anyone remotely interested in shipping fanfiction, even if it's not normally your thing. The characters are wonderful, natural extensions of those from the show and I honestly want to see how this all turns out. Granted, I'm a sucker for a true love story, especially one that starts off bitter and ends happily, but I like where this is going and I'll be waiting on bated breath like the rest! This one is definitely ~Medicshy Approved!
And that is all for this week my friends. I know, a lot of shipping lately and it probably isn't going to let up anytime soon, but give it a shot. I'm finding more good reads by giving it a read anyway than by dodging it, so it's always worth the effort.
In other news, though rehearsals for my upcoming show are making life a bit difficult, I shall do my best to not miss my update day! Even if it means switching stories because I haven't read as much as I'd like, it's going to happen, that I promise.
Until next week, have a wonderful day everypony!
Your hopeless romantic writer,