Don’t let today’s story slip past you unnoticed.
The Thief and the Princess
[Slice of Life][Thriller] • 3,252 words
In the dead of night, a thief breaks into the royal palace in Canterlot to steal Celestia’s crown. She successfully sneaks through the palace and enters the room where this prize possession is kept, with not a soul the wiser.
Well, save for a certain Princess.
FROM THE CURATORS: “Amazing characterization,” said Soge in his nomination. “It certainly impressed me … casting Twilight in a typical Celestia role, and allowing her to shine in comparison to her mentor by having her take a decidedly Twilight approach to conflict solving.” The other curators echoed his impressions. “The author said they were trying to give Twilight a more mature, serene portrayal and I think they nailed it,” RBDash47 said, and AugieDog chimed in that he’s “always glad to see Twilight acting in her capacity as princess.”
The first character named in the title also drew praise. “A very compelling portrayal of its titular thief, of her craft and her approach to problem solving,” said Soge. “I also love Cerise’s motivation,” Present Perfect agreed. “She wants to become a legend, a fairy tale, if only she can just pull off this heist, the theft of something so precious, most ponies don’t know it exists.” AugieDog appreciated the author “letting us get to know Cerise first, then slipping us over to see how Twilight deals with the situation Cerise has created.”
But there’s more here than deft character work. “What gets me about this one is the atmosphere. It’s extremely well detailed, and palpably tense,” Present Perfect said. “It manages to weave throughout the narrative the tried-and-true ponyfic theme of destiny, and how it can be challenged and re-interpreted,” said Soge. RBDash47 loved “the idea of ‘whatever you are, be a good one’ subverted by an (apparently) negative destiny.” Present Perfect summed things up nicely: “As short as this is, there’s a lot packed into it.”
Read on for our author interview, in which Muramasa discusses cursed blades, constructive criticism, and illegal cutie marks.
Give us the standard biography.
Hey, everyone! I’m Muramasa, and I’ve been writing stories on the site since 2015. I’ve published 12 stories on the site and I’m really honored to have one of my stories featured in the Royal Canterlot Library!
How did you come up with your handle/penname?
I’m a bit obsessed with Japanese culture and history, and Sengo Muramasa was a swordsmith who lived during the Muromachi period in Japan. He made excellent swords, but he got a little bit of a folklore reputation for making “cursed blades” or “demon swords”. That’s where the name comes from, and I usually switch up my profile picture to a random Samurai every once in a while!
Who’s your favorite pony?
This seems really lame, but I’m a huge fan of Twilight Sparkle: I love the fact that she’s the incredible individual who has accomplished so much and risen such great heights, but yet is still often unsure of herself and prone to making mistakes. As anyone who’s read my other stuff knows, however, that I’m also very fond of writing Sunset Shimmer!
What’s your favorite episode?
If you count two-parters, probably “The Cutie Map”. I really loved the unique brand of villainy Starlight Glimmer brought to the table, from her using of the Staff of Sameness to her final monologue to Twilight and her friends on the mountain pass, and I love the way they hid her throughout certain episodes during the remainder of the season and brought her back in a huge way!
What do you get from the show?
That it’s really good! I love the characters and stories it has to offer, and the little lessons it gives along the way are a bonus for me!
What do you want from life?
A transparent hole puncher. It’s 2018, people!
Why do you write?
I write because I really enjoy it! I love crafting stories, and I am very happy that people enjoy the ones I write. It’s a great way to pour out all those ideas you have in your head!
What advice do you have for the authors out there?
Get a pre reader! This was advice I had never followed until I turned this story in to EqD for the first time, where it needed a lot of work. Thanks to the amazing people over there, this story was really propelled to something amazing with all of the help and constructive criticism they gave me. It’s a bit too late for my ongoing stories, but the next time I publish something new I’m certainly going to get help first!
What inspired “The Thief and the Princess”?
I was listening to a song by one of my favorite artists, Shawn James, called “The Thief and the Moon”, where he tells the tale of a thief who wants to steal light from the moon itself. I came up with this concept of a thief stealing something from the castle in Canterlot, and I had always wanted to write Twilight as a wise Princess like I knew Celestia, Luna, and Cadance often could be. Thus, the story was born!
How often do you suppose difficult-to-deal-with cutie marks like Cerise’s turn up in Equestria?
Oh, I’m sure it’s very often! I know I’m not the first one to write about strange cutie marks, as they’re “special talents”: things the ponies of Equestria happen to be extremely good at. I’m certain there would be strange and illegal things this would entail, which is really the problem that Cerise has in “The Thief and the Princess”.
Where do you envision Cerise going from here?
While I can’t say too much, as I do want to continue Cerise’s story, I will say that the events of the story ensured that she wasn’t the same mare she was when she broke into the palace, and she has quite a lot of soul searching to do for herself as she debates how she can use her extraordinary talents for something good.
Do you see Twilight playing a role in Equestria’s criminal justice system?
I’m not certain she could prevent somepony like Cerise from going to jail–her profession is still illegal–but it does raise an interesting question for sure! Perhaps, after meeting Cerise, she could bring attention to cutie marks such as hers and change the way that crimes committed by ponies with illegal special talents are interpreted in the law!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’m really psyched that people have taken so well to this story, and I hope everyone reading this enjoys it as well: thanks so much for the honors!