The next time you want to write comedy mixed with a thoughtful moral lesson, today’s story is a great one to take a page from.
The Princess Of Books
[Comedy] [Slice of Life] • 17,954 words
Celestia had a problem. Somepony wrote a novel about Nightmare Moon’s rebellion. This made Luna quite unhappy, and unfortunately for her sister, Luna has not yet gotten the hang of modern traditions like freedom of speech, the abolition of the death penalty, and not bothering Princess Celestia when she’s trying to sleep.
Fortunately, Celestia also had a faithful student, one who is now a Princess with an ill-defined portfolio and perfectly capable of dispensing justice by the laws of both today and one thousand years ago.
Now Twilight Sparkle has a problem.
FROM THE CURATORS: We found The Princess Of Books not only entertaining, but exemplary on two levels. The first was how its tale of remedial Lunar education felt remarkably faithful to the show itself. “Though the comedy tag certainly fits, it isn’t laugh-out-loud, but it is a rather masterful mixture of light humor and show-tone slice of life, with just a hint of going beyond the show’s boundaries in ways that make sense,” Present Perfect said. “It’s also an excellent look at Twilight adjusting to her role as a princess in ways that mirror what we’ve seen in season 4, despite having been published prior to it.” Part of that excellence was its well-roundedness: “It includes all of the mane six without feeling bogged down,” JohnPerry said.
Its other exemplary feature was, as Horizon put it, “the story’s core maturity” in its examination of the issue of censorship (which remains all too relevant in our own world). “It’s refreshing to find a story with a strong moral that doesn’t overplay its hand,” JohnPerry said, and Chris agreed: “The lesson at the end was a great mix of blunt, important, and thoughtful.” Amid all its silliness, it treats its characters and their decisions with respect: “Twilight’s presented with several easy outs, any one of which could have plausibly worked given the conceits of canon, but refuses them and stands on principle, to everyone’s immediate discomfort and ultimate benefit,” Horizon said. “Aside from Luna’s early anachronistic wrath, everyone acts reasonable, and the different sides of the conflict are all presented as having legitimate reasons driving their actions.”
Those conflicts end up escalating into a climax and epilogue that “made me want to stand up and cheer,” Horizon said, and Present Perfect agreed: “The ending is rather unexpectedly epic.”
Read on for our author interview, in which anowack discusses meta-goals, mythological gifts, and mixing morality and grins.