I was quite busy this week, so how about something a little different than usual, in that I’d normally put it in my FiMFiction.net recommendations group and call it a day. (I try to limit my inclusion of My Little Pony fics on this blog, for a variety of reasons, including FiMFiction.net having best-in-class tooling for finding something to read and some readers preferring to avoid it on principle.)
Dark Horse — A Five Score Tale From The Dresden Files by Lord Of Dorkness is a Dresden Files – My Little Pony crossover which does an amazing job of capturing the Dresden feel while blending it into a “Five Score” fic.
…and now to explain what a “Five Score” fic is. Five Score, Divided By Four is a My Little Pony fic in which the main character, an ordinary human, gets an unwanted 25th birthday present when he discovers that he’s turning into a character from My Little Pony. It turns out that he (and countless other humans) are actually reincarnated ponies from the My Little Pony setting who were cursed by Discord, a former villain who wasn’t really as reformed as he claimed. The story touched off an explosion of spin-offs by various authors, some canon to the original and some not.
That’s the main thing you need to know to enjoy Dark Horse since, as long as you’re willing to either pay close attention or do a Wikia search for various character names, the story is significantly more Dresden Files than My Little Pony.
Prior to the story’s start, Harry Dresden winds up turning into Fluttershy, who, in addition to canonically being a cute, soft-spoken wallflower, shares a surprising number of characteristics with Harry Dresden. As Lord of Dorkness puts it, “Far too kind, a thing for animals, strange magical powers the average pony/human doesn’t posses… Oh, and yeah. Unholy horror once actually angered!”
The story proper starts when Harry Dresden receives a visit from someone claiming to be a friend from a past life… things go downhill from there as the cast who remember their past lives are so caught up in their certainty that their perception of the situation is correct that they completely botch the contact and come across as either villains or under the sway of villains.
What then follows is a very Dresden-esque sequence of events in which he winds up picking up
Rainbow Dash Nemo Schwartz as as a fellow cast member and getting the better of their pursuers. (This works well, narratively, because most of what has already been written functions as Act 1 and making a habit of trouncing the antagonists he can see is only complicating things for Harry when the later acts start.)
Now, because this feels like act 1 of a significantly longer story, it’s hard for me to really summarize high-level plot details which are relevant. This is, again, one of the stories where the specialness comes from how all the fine details fit together to make for a satisfying reading experience.
There are also a few twists I don’t want to spoil… though I will say that I love what’s revealed in chapter 7 about the natures of Dresdenverse magic and Equestrian magic. It’s an elegantly clever bit of world-building and very satisfying to boot.
All in all, while not the only Dresden – My Little Pony crossover I’d consider good, this is certainly the one which feels most strongly like a Dresden Files story that had My Little Pony injected into it, rather than the other way around.
Admittedly, it does have a bit of a “you’re only seeing a small portion of what you want to see, despite how many words you’ve read” effect, so I’ll have to mark it down for that.
Given that this is my second time re-reading it, how uncommon it is to find something which tries to follow Jim Butcher’s style this well, and how much I enjoy reading it, I’ll say that it’s a 4.7 out of 5 if it never updates again and a 5 out of 5 if it does manage to progress significantly.
It’s just a shame that, as of this writing, Lord of Dorkness wants to work on the next chapter, but is being wrung dry by his job.
Fanfiction – Dark Horse by Stephan Sokolow is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.