Don’t skip out on today’s story.
Dragon Lord Ember Skips Work for an Hour
[Romance] [Slice of Life] • 3,060 words
The mighty Dragon Lord Ember slips away for an hour, to meet up with her secret mate.
Contains: two newly-installed world leaders who don’t really know what they’re doing, and some wistful escapist cuddling.
FROM THE CURATORS: If there’s anything this story shows, it’s the power of being able to rely on your friends — a lesson we ourselves took to heart. “I freely admit that I am going to be blind to this fic’s faults because Embrax is the universe’s best ship, so I’m trusting you guys to add the objectivity I lack,” Horizon said in his nomination. “But this was good even by Embrax standards. I clicked through as a guilty pleasure, only to find it far exceeding my expectations.” He wasn’t the only one. “I’ve never read any Embrax before, so this served as my introduction; I think I’m sold!” RBDash47 said. “The author does a great job convincing me that Ember and Thorax are a natural fit. We understand what exactly they see in each other and the challenges they face in their budding relationship.”
The strength of that shipping not only won it an Honorable Mention in CategoricalGrant’s Cuddlefic Contest, but also came in for repeated curator compliments. “What really sold me is how convincingly it gives us both sides of a romantic relationship even though we’re only in one character’s point of view throughout,” AugieDog said. “Even though we’re only getting Ember’s direct take on the situation, the author manages to show us Thorax’s view and what Ember means to him in an entirely indirect fashion.” Horizon had similar praise: “This really centers the contrast in character which makes the ship so dynamic — as well as the ways that the pair makes each other better. It’s rich in detail throughout, and every detail pulls together into a greater whole.”
But even more than the stellar interpersonal work, what we found exemplary was the thoughtful look inside both protagonists. “This is a really remarkable piece of character work,” Present Perfect said. “I don’t know that I’ve read any Ember-centric stories before now, and what the author does with her is exceptional.” Soge agreed: “I like the characterization work, where it takes Ember, and the subtle way it worldbuilds about her position in the world.” RBDash47 noted that as well: “For a bonus, we get a great exploration of how life for the dragons has changed since Ember took the throne. I love how the author found a way, via the pocketwatch, to make Ember’s small stature and relative delicateness an asset when it comes to ruling her people.” All in all, as Horizon said, “there’s so much more going on here than just the shipping.”
Read on for our author interview, in which The Cloptimist discusses daisy necklaces, stolen scenes, and life-saving songs.