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The Destiny Trap
[Adventure] • 7,746 words
Returning from a trip to Manehattan, Trixie has a brand new magic trick that she’s all too eager to share with Starlight.
Unfortunately, when things don’t work quite as expected, Trixie and Starlight are forced to go on a journey across Equestria to find the pony that gave her the trick and make things right once more.
FROM THE CURATORS: We look far and wide for the best of MLP fanfiction, but sometimes great stories are right under our noses. “As soon as I saw this nomination, I said to myself, ‘A great story, sure, but of course we’ve already featured AndrewRogue. Haven’t we?’ Then I went and looked at our archive, and I can only say that my shock knew no bounds,” AugieDog said. The reason why is readily apparent from the fic. “It is a perfectly executed show-tone adventure story, exciting in all the right ways, with some amazing characterization for Trixie and Starlight, and a villain which works perfectly as a foil to both,” Soge said in his nomination, and it didn’t take us long to agree: “Even with the time it took me to re-read this, it’s going to go in our shortest-time-to-feature bin with a four-hour turnaround,” Horizon noted.
Our praise was wide-ranging, but one of the repeated comments was how gracefully the story extended the show. “This has got everything that makes recent seasons great, wrapped up in a tidy package with a bow on top,” Horizon said. “Which is to say, this is a Season 7 story with a Season 1 aesthetic, perfectly capturing the core friendship message of the show through a cast of redeemed villains who have learned those lessons the hard way.” And that cast hit all the right notes. “The character work for all three characters is solid, from Blackstone’s motivation to Trixie showing the true friend that lurks beneath her veneer of bluster and arrogance,” Present Perfect said. “I even appreciated how well the street magic patter was worked into the narrative; that’s not something I’ve seen in prose before.”
That wasn’t the story’s only claim to novelty. “Given how standard the ‘disappearing magic shop full of monkey’s paws’ setup is, I wasn’t expecting to be surprised, yet I got surprises in spades,” Present Perfect said, prompting Horizon to note: “Its Writeoff Association gold medal was a well-deserved win against tough competition.” There was so much to appreciate here, as Soge said, that “how it works in a very well-crafted thematic element surrounding Starlight’s and Trixie’s redemption is only icing on the cake.”
Read on for our author interview, in which AndrewRogue discusses friendship mines, earthbound prompts, and Smackdown jams.