Today’s story will always be here to provide you with some quality teatime reading.
[Slice of Life] • 6,033 words
No one alive today can say where she came from; simply that she has always been there.
And yet, few ponies have had a greater impact on Princess Celestia’s life than Raven, her most faithful aide.
FROM THE CURATORS: “This was just published by an author whose FiMFic account is just a few months old — proof that there are still quality writers coming into the fandom,” Chris said in his nomination. And there were many ways in which Raven made that quality obvious, starting with the unrolling of its core mystery. “This has three ‘whoa’ moments, those moments I always enjoy in a story when a piece of information is revealed that makes me re-evaluate everything I thought was going on,” AugieDog said. “I can’t remember the last time I came across a story anywhere that did that to me.”
That was just one aspect of the careful construction that earned multiple curators’ praise. “The reversed-time narrative worked very well, thanks to the attention to detail from the author,” Soge said. “Little things like the tea choices or the expressions they use among themselves were well established, and seeing them deconstructed as the narrative regressed was a great way to show not only the passage of time, but also the evolution of their relationship.” Chris agreed: “What makes Raven work so well is all the little details it works in. Even as intentional repetitions from scene to scene — and the slow revelation of Raven‘s nature — draw your attention, there are plenty of small touches at the edges which make this feel like a true glimpse of history.”
We also found much to like about the careful balance of its characterization. “It’s a nice tale of dedication and friendship,” Soge said. “Raven‘s actions are never self-centered, but also not really subservient, so there is always the sensation that, even though she serves Celestia, she is her equal in a sense.” Ultimately, that added up to a read that rewarded us from start to finish, as Chris noted: “It unfolds at just the right pace, and feels a lot longer than it is — the mark of a story with pleasant depth.”
Read on for our author interview, in which SaintChoc discusses small successes, hidden 110%s, and nightmare teas.