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The reason I write is because I want to read a story written for myself. One day, I want to read one of my own stories and say to myself "That is the best story I have ever read."

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Review and Plugs: PaulAsaran's "The Gentle Nights: Audience of One" and Georg's "The One Who Got Away" · 6:46am Nov 24th, 2015

First off, Equestria's Changeling Queen and the Abyssal Empress stuff... I will be putting out a short blog post with some lore info on the changeling queens as written from Simulacris's point of view. I'm still writing it however.

Now on to the main blog post.

When an experienced author, lets say... Georg, Cerulean Voice, PaulAsaran, boosts me, or reviews a story, I feel kind of obligated to boost them because they took the time to read and give me feedback. (By the way, check them out, they're awesome.)

Which is the key reason behind this blog post. I need to do some repayment.

PaulAsaran, a very talented author did a pretty extensive review of Princess Celestia: The Changeling Queen for his Thursday Reviews blog. You can read it here because I think it was quite well done and got to the core of some of my strengths and weaknesses.

However, I feel obligated to boost him and review one of his stories, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and frankly, considering the style of it, the story it tells, and its overall quality, is tragically underrated.

So here goes nothing.
The Gentle Nights: Audience of One

The Gentle Nights: Audience of One, if you haven't got the idea from the cover art, is a story that ships Luna and Octavia. The story starts with Luna seeking companionship with Octavia, who performed for her once. It goes on to cover how the pair grow closer and closer together, as a threat from the dream realm and Luna's own past, threatens to destroy the Princess of the Night once and for all.

The Gentle Nights is... well it is one of the better and more memorable romance stories I've read on this site. Maybe it is the unique ship, perhaps its the story itself, I don't quite know, but it is immensely satisfying.

I don't want to say too much of the story itself because I will spoil, but for a simple Slice of Life/Romance story, PaulAsaran is able to get an incredible amount of mileage out of the idea. He characterizes Octavia excellently as an introvert, and a bit of a workaholic who gradually opens up and falls in love with Luna. Luna's characterization itself is excellent in that while PaulAsaran is sympathetic to her and her inner demons (can't say more on that matter or else I'll spoil) he doesn't take the approach of her being as capable as her sister after being locked away for 1000 years. Instead PaulAsaran shows Luna at her worst, and best, showing how she's controlled to a great degree by her insecurities, but showing that these insecurities are... well understandable and a result of past issues that haven't been corrected yet.

So without giving away too much, the story's pacing and characterization feels very natural, likeable, agreeable to headcanons and yet with the author's own unique spin on the characters. PaulAsaran clearly shines in this respect and hence you root for the pair from beginning to the very end of the story, which wraps itself up in a fully satisfying conclusion after a pretty big climax.

In terms of style, the story is also excellent. There are a number of dream sequences in the story that can range from frightening to vast and epic, and PaulAsaran is able to portray and present both with excellent flair.

He also uses a good supporting cast that support and interact with Octavia and Luna that includes background ponies, and Celestia. Celestia's characterization I think is particularly good among the supporting cast as PaulAsaran is able to show Luna's conflict with her sister, without either of them really coming across as evil, bad, or out of control. They're shown as family members with a few problems separating them, which is exactly what I want to see out of a Celestia and Luna sisterly relationship.

Sounds great vren55, is there anything wrong?

Well... sortof. I have a few issues with the climax that I can't really spoil, but lets say that the way Octavia manages to help Luna at the end... feels like it works to my emotions, but to my head I'm going "HOW?"

That's my only qualm really, and I thoroughly recommend everybody to read it as its just a good story that ships two characters you rarely see together. Read it, I guarantee you will enjoy it.

Now, onto second review of the evening.
Georg did a bump of my story on his blog post and so I feel obligated to return the favor and bump a story and review it. Moreover, he left a pretty nice (if brief) comment on my recent "I got exasperated and felt pretty annoyed blog post."

And no it isn't The Monster in Twilight. I mean that's good, but I actually didn't like it as much as this other story, which is also a Romance.

The One Who Got Away

The One Who Got Away is very different from The Gentle Nights. For one, it is told from the perspective of Baron Gaberdine, an OC who gets awarded a little barony of his own for services to the crown. Gaberdine goes there to find out his Barony's a river, and his castle, is a rickety old riverboat, and his subjects are a couple of ducks, an old seneschel/keeper of the castle, and some seaponies.

No I-kid-you-not that's what his barony is.

The story essentially follows Gaberdine as he for the lack of a better description, falls in love with his barony with a little helper (no spoilers, just that she's adorable and is on the cover), and finds romantic love, as well as satisfaction and happiness.

That's really the bare bones of it. I will say though that while in Gentle Nights, the focus is on the romance, The One who Got Away is... well its an escapist story, a story where you escape to the world of the characters, to a likeable OC and how he comes to learn about his new responsibilities. The romance here isn't really the focus as its there, cute, and nice, but there's not much in terms of 'romantic' development between Gaberdine and the one he falls in love with. Yet, I really don't care, I love this story to bits as its so remarkably simple, but the way George lays it out so lovingly, you can't help but feel sucked into the world.

If I had one issue with it, the story's a bit simple, but then that's its strength. There's not really a big big morale or conflict to be addressed, its really a nice escape to a unique place in the Land of Equestria, where you can forget about the world for a while. Which is frankly all a good story needs.

Anyway, that's all for tonight. Hope you've enjoyed chapter 8.... Well I know most of you have :P Some of the readers appear to have problems, but oh well. I will soldier on.

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Comments ( 5 )

Ah, The Gentle Nights. How I love that story. Always a thrill to know that others appreciate it just as much. The sequel's really more akin to a cutesy side story, but it does set the table for the real sequel that, someday, I really want to get to.

Looking forward to the sequel to Princess Celestia: The Changeling Queen.

I must say that's a creative way to name your chapters, like er ... Hindi or something ? Along with the strange ship and all, seems interesting I'm sure to check it out tomorrow.

Good eye, it is indeed Hindi, albeit with questionable accuracy. The reason is raised in the Author's Notes... at some point. Can't remember exactly when. Anyway, I do hope you enjoy it!

Sometimes my inability to write complicated comes in handy when I write *good* simpler things. In a way, all MLP stories are escapist, and the sequel that I'm working on for this follows the same path with a young earth pony artist who is running away from the orphanage and runs into a little patch of heaven. Thanks for the review!

3568872 I will be waiting for when it comes out :D

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