Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Ponyfic Roundup 297

Read it Later story count: 209 (nc)

Here I am again with another Ponyfic Roundup. What – you were expecting me to review pencil sharpeners or something? I'm so, so sorry. (Edit: though see the comment by The Cloptimist!) Instead, you'll get me rabbiting on about the following three fics:

Together Forever by Snake Staff
Great and Powerful? by Manaphy
Hay is for Horses by Holy

★: 0 | ★★: 2 | ★★★: 0 | ★★★★: 1 | ★★★★★: 0
Note: I use a skewed rating system. A fic I find average scores two stars.

Together Forever by Snake Staff
Cadance, Shining Armor, Celestia and OC
Romance/Dark/Adventure/Sad/Alternate Universe; 38k words; Aug 2014; Teen
Centuries in the future, Shining Armor lives on with his beloved wife. But what price does immortality demand?
Cadance-centric stories that really grab me aren't that common, but here's one. The Shining we encounter here isn't really alive at all – his soul has been transplanted into a crystal golem. Using dark magic. By Cadance. Against Celestia's wishes. And Cady now has a secret (even from Tia) plan to make her husband whole again. The fic's opening isn't that promising – I can't believe "LSBFF" (Little Sister etc) on the same level as I can "BBBFF", for example. Once things ratchet up, though, this is gripping. Expect a far tougher, even at times brutal, Cadance than we see in the series, as well as a Chessmaster Celestia whose morality you will seriously question. That's a slight minus for me personally, but others may like it. Some nice world-building about the centuries-hence Crystal Empire, too. A high four, this one. Recommended – just be prepared for the violence, when it comes. ★★★★

Great and Powerful? by Manaphy
Slice of Life; 5k words; Feb 2015; Teen
Trixie abandons Ponyville after all the trouble she caused. During her long travel, she stops at a diner to get some food, but this decision will affect Trixie much more than she expects.
Set in the aftermath of "Magic Duel", this is a potentially interesting fic about Trixie finding herself and learning how to move on. I say "potentially" because it could really have done with a good edit. There are OCs who are just... there, Trixie herself doesn't do a lot that's eye-opening and there are some silly mistakes. (A fence is "pale, but dark brown".) The identity of a pony we know who turns up late on may raise some eyebrows, but she's not the version we see a lot in ponyfic, and that's welcome. The ending is okay, just rather predictable. A bit of a mixed bag. ★★

Hay is for Horses by Holy
Sunset Shimmer
Equestria Girls/Comedy/Random/Slice of Life; 2k words; May 2020; Everyone
Sunset has been in the human world for so long she's almost forgotten the taste of her favorite food, but an encounter with a few of Applejack's hay bales incites an uncontrollable urge within her to indulge in her old pony pastime.
This is basically a one-joke story: Sunset Shimmer (who I believe is Holy's favourite character) craves some hay, but finds that humans aren't really cut out for such a diet. It's told amusingly, though, so I quite enjoyed the read. The ending isn't the strongest, and this is probably one for the "tea-break fic" pile rather than anything more memorable. Still, at the high end of the two-star bracket simply for making such a silly premise a moderately entertaining read. ★★

Next time on Ponyfic Roundup: stories reviewed should include Dafaddah's Filial.


  1. Getting closer to 300!

    There should be more Cadance. Two of my very favourite arcs of the official comic feature her prominently, I don't know why she ended up being mostly superfluous in canon and fanfic alike.

    One of the best pieces of advice I ever received at law school was to take notes in pencil rather than pen (your wrists will thank you as you get into the third hour!), and from experience I confidently endorse the Staedtler Noris manual sharpener as my favourite.

    1. I do remember really liking the "Neigh Anything" arc, though it's been a very long time since I've read it -- indeed, since I've read any of the comics. It's on my to-do list, but what isn't?

      And thank you for the pencil sharpener review! Never let it be said that this blog doesn't cater to niche interests.