Pony Stories 635

13 Jul

Just finished Memoirs of a Royal Guard. My beginning thoughts (inital thoughts really, but wrote them down at the halfway point) can be found in yesterday’s post.

  • Memoirs of a Royal Guard by Anzel

Memoirs of a Royal Guard by Anzel

Review of first attempt to read the story (turns out the story was better than I thought that first time)

I enjoyed it. Started rough, but got better. Never really got to amazing though. I think… I think I liked Crystal Wishes more and/or I think it was the better story. Hard to say which honestly. As mentioned my reaction to that story was all over the place. This was a much more… I want to say typical, fanfic, but in a way that isn’t negative. The focus was different than the other stories of the AU I’ve read too. Encounters in those stories are glossed over or skipped past in this one, likewise events that have both characters show up here but not in the others. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had read this one first, then branched out to the rest of the AU. Which is another thing that I noticed. This story is much more a Alternate Universe than the other ones (of this AU) I’ve read. I didn’t notice anything in the other stories that would set it apart from, shall we say, standard Equestria? In this one we get glimpses of history and backstory and it’s made clear that Cadance is a unicorn and that at one point Princess Luna may have been a unicorn as well.

I still think the AU would work a lot better as original fiction, but I can understand that making the shift would be near impossible. Building a fanbase of pony fanfic fans means you are kind of stuck with. Not that the authors seem to be tired. Just my normal compliant of human-style body language and movement. There is a brief fight scene where Silent Knight punches someone in the gut and then sweeps their legs out from under them with one of his legs. Not really easy a maneuver for four-legged ponies. Plus the stories don’t take a lot of what I consider the cool bits of Pony into account. Weather control is sort of sidelined, the stories I’ve read focus mostly on Unicorns with a side of Pegasus and the occasional Earth Pony. Which adds to the usual ‘Unicorns are awesome because they have magic’ sort of deal. Heck, there is almost no flying for our main character who is a Pegasus.

Which are all minor quibbles that boil down to the usual complaint of ‘The author is not writing their stories to my exact tastes’. This wasn’t bad and had good bits. I’d recommend it to anyone wanting a bit of slice-of-life with a few sprinkles of adventure here and there. It does not surprise me that this has gotten fairly popular and the only complaint is the one I have about popular things that don’t match my tastes exactly.

So I’d recommend it to someone of specific matching tastes. I kind of want to re-read Crystal’s Wishes, but I’m not sure I’ll ever want to re-read this one. Yet I do plan to read the next completed story in this series because I want to know about the mythos stuff about alicorns and empty hidden cities. As for the characters… Eh, I might have more investment in what happens to them if I didn’t already know everything is more or less going to turn out fine. Genre and themes of the stories kind of work against building tension.

(part two: the bit from another text document I forgot about)
The thing that bugged me, trivial really, is that the character arc of the main character seemed a bit disconnected. It was handled well for the most part. Just… A little off. Like we start with him at the beginning and he changes over time, even in response to events, but we never actually see the moment of change. Like an event happens, then afterward he is acting differently. We get very few actual ‘ah-ha’ or ‘hmmm’ moments from him about the changes he goes through. It still works for the most part. Just had me a little off-kilter for much of the first half of the story.


Posted by on July 13, 2016 in Ponies, Reading 2016, Reviews


4 responses to “Pony Stories 635

  1. Present Perfect

    July 13, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Two things I forgot to mention in my review: Cadence being a unicorn really pissed me off. I mean, this is your standard “deviation from canon” kind of AU, where we have OCs who obviously weren’t part of the episodes but fit in, while events progress as they did, up until we hit a spot where things peel off and further canon isn’t accounted for. But Cadence not being an alicorn changes so much, and it’s really the only direct change to canon up through season two. It’s like… why? Now you can’t do the Crystal Empire the same way. Now, when Shining Armor gives Silent Knight advice about relationships, he can’t say, “I should know, my wife’s the Princess of Love.” It seems like such an arbitrary change, for no reason, and it made me mad because I normally hate Cadence, and here I am mad because she’s not an alicorn.

    The other thing didn’t make me mad so much as it just confused me, and that’s the “frost pony”. Like… what’s the point of that? Why add an entirely new race? More to the point, why do it right at the end of the story? Maybe it pays off in the sequels, but for a single story, it’s one of many choices that don’t seem to have any reason. The world-building was just pretty bad.

    • Griffin

      July 13, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      Yeah, mostly worldbuilding reasons. I’m reading the sequel and I’m pretty sure there’s a chance Cadance might become an alicorn later. Still do the Crystal Empire bit too, more or less unchanged except that Sombra doesn’t show up yet. The funny thing is they still have Cadance do the whole ‘princess of love’ thing, without the princess bit obviously, in Crystal’s Wishes so there is pretty much no change except she doesn’t have wings.

      • Present Perfect

        July 13, 2016 at 10:53 pm

        So why do it? Like, is it just me?

      • Griffin

        July 14, 2016 at 3:58 am

        Not just you. I suspect the reason is their worldbuilding mythos stuff is unicorns are the ones that become alicorns. Like, Princess Luna was a unicorn before she changed, and I vaguely remember one of the stories mentioned Princess Celestia was one too? Or maybe I’m just remembering actual canon.

        Either way, basically it’s worldbuilding with their alicorn history setup.


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