There’s plenty to enjoy about today’s story — but if you suddenly and mysteriously fall in love with its tale, it’s time to run away screaming.
[Comedy] [Drama] [Slice of Life] • 10,049 words
Coming from a proud family celebrated for their ability at helping ponies fall in love, Archer wants nothing more than to be able to carry on the Cupid tradition. What helps is that her mother is one of the most successful Cupids to ever walk Equestria.
What helps less is that Archer is possibly the worst.
But that’s not going to stop her from trying.
FROM THE CURATORS: For a story whose main character so consistently fails to touch hearts, this certainly grabbed ours. Soge, for example, praised the story’s emotional impact and construction: “This is a straight-up adorable, really heartwarming fic, and one I really enjoyed reading. All the ponies are characterized very well, and are very believable in their actions, without that affecting negatively either the plot or the comedic timing.” That humor, too, drew its own share of praise. “The comedy in this story is consistent and engaging, a nice blend of puns, callbacks, and narrative observational humor,” Chris said, and AugieDog agreed: “This is just so appealingly goofy.”
On top of that, True Bowmance was stuffed with sharp ideas that fired up our imaginations. “It never ceases to amaze me, the stories we can come up for for incidental characters,” Present Perfect said. “Who comes up with ‘matchmaking earth pony magic’ for someone like Archer? This is an excellent work of original, on-tone world-building.” Chris was equally impressed with that for similar reasons: “On that note, isn’t ‘hereditary matchmakers’ just a perfectly Equestrian job? I mean, it edges creepily up on suggesting that free will is an illusion, but stays firmly on the heartwarming side of that line.”
The cherry on top of this tale’s sundae of matchmaking failures, however, was the exemplary character work. “Pinkie works wonderfully as both comic relief and moral support,” Present Perfect noted, while Soge enjoyed the main character’s portrayal: “It does the whole ‘oblivious youngster’ thing, a la early-seasons Cutie Mark Crusaders, very well.” That led to a comment from AugieDog that sent shivers down all of our spines: “The only thing that would’ve made this better would’ve been the Cutie Mark Crusaders trying to help Archer out, but I find myself thinking the town might not have survived that particular meeting.”