Don’t lose out on today’s story.
Nothing Left to Lose
[Drama] [Sad] • 6,367 words
Some things can’t be changed.
Starlight believes otherwise.
FROM THE CURATORS: One might be forgiven for thinking that after nine years of MLP (and fanfic), there’s nothing left to explore on such well-trodden ground as changeling redemption — but there are still stories on the topic which are worthy of turning heads. “Though the show seems to have moved past it as a possibility, the question of whether and how Queen Chrysalis could be reformed alongside the other changelings still lingers in the fandom’s consciousness,” Present Perfect said in his nomination. “In comes Freglz, with a solidly reasoned story that combines the finales of seasons 5 and 6 and isn’t afraid to let the question hang.”
And while the slow burn of the story caused some debate, ultimately this won us over with its quality. “It could be streamlined a bit, but all in all I was impressed with the prose,” RBDash47 said. “It flowed well with decent rhythm, and I enjoyed the imagery.” Even that languid writing had its defenders: “I actually appreciated the deliberate pacing,” FanOfMostEverything said. “This is as much a therapy session as a diplomatic negotiation.” And beyond that we found quality throughout the fic. “There’s a lot to love here, such as the characterization and the subtle hints of world building, and the overall theme resonated well with me,” Soge said.
Indeed, the deft character work was our most common praise. “Good character work swims this story to victory,” Present Perfect said, while RBDash47 added: “Where it really shines is the back-and-forth between the two speaking characters, the reformed and the yet-to-be. There’s real tension there, and I could really feel for Starlight.” Ultimately, it was that delicate maneuvering which we found most exemplary about the story. “Starlight’s walking a razor’s edge between Chrysalis lashing out and fleeing forever, and her need to pay it forward works fantastically as a motivation,” FanOfMostEverything said. “Chrysalis is a highlight as well. The tension between her self-image of the sole provider to her children and the reality of her pride driving her from everything she’s ever known is what’s keeping Starlight’s tightrope taut. And the open ending is the best way it could have gone; a being as set in her ways as Chrysalis will need some time to mull this over.”
Read on for our author interview, in which Freglz discusses rotten acorns, spoiled broth, and murderous fungus.