• Member Since 28th Jun, 2012
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Cascadejackal


Platypus with a pen.

E

Once, every decade, the changeling race prepares for their most sacred of days.
It is a celebration of life, of the past, of the bond between all Queens, past and present, and their subjects.
It is a time of joy, when all changelings return from the world beyond Flutter Valley to be with their families.

But one filly looks forward to it more than most. For Chrysalis, future Queen of the Changelings, this is her first Festival of Lights and her first step on the road to becoming Queen.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 15 )

Ah, so here the changelings here are individuals with their friends and families, as well as having a proper culture and celebrations. I suppose the Queen refering to them as 'her children' is then in a more metaphorical sense?

Very interesting and I give you credit that it at least goes in a different angle than most changeling fanfictions.

4304562 Yep, metaphorical.:twilightsmile:

Changelings are interesting. There's so many different views on them! Every time I see a fic where they're portayed as mindless insects or just monsters, though, it makes me sad.:fluttercry:
We need more changeling love.

I love this story, with all those happy changelings having such fun. :pinkiehappy: If there was a "My Little Changeling" TV program, this could be a real episode.

Hello, I am your WRITE reviewer for this fic, Festival of Lights. Firstly let me begin by saying that the story felt to be a lot longer than 5700 words, and I mean this in a very positive manner. You have squeezed a huge amount of substance into a relatively short word count. Like the changelings within, Festival of Lights is fit to bursting with good stuff.

Where to begin, where to begin? With the beginning, I suppose. From the very first sentence the words are boldly painting an image. Of scene, of setting, and most importantly of the very nature of changelings themselves.

I’ve always found that one of the greatest strengths of changelings to write is the sheer scope of freedom a writer has with them. You have certainly been bold in that regard, and it pays off admirably. The first few paragraphs give us changelings that are sapient, individual, communal, aspiring, even spiritual. Without having had to dictate any of this directly to the reader, you’ve made it all clear as it could be, and I applaud this very strong opening use of Show, Don't Tell. Best holey hoof forwards, eh?

The prominent use of imagery works well in your favour, and very it is very much apparant that this is a celebration of light, and of life, and of all things joyous for changelings.

From the Queen’s ‘iridescent sheen’ to her carapace of ‘midnight hues’, you carpet-bomb us with visual stimulation and it does admirably in highlighting the atmosphere of festivities and lively renewal. Again, I applaud.

Of a small technical note, THIS part of the story seems to have formatted poorly:

"Chrysalis, slow down!" The Queen chuckled as the gangly filly, her daughter, skidded to a stop in front of her, panting.
Leanan Sidhe, Queen of the Changelings, was many things. One of these things, unfortunately, was not being good at coming up with names.
"Now, what's got you all in a tizzy, hmm?" The Queen smiled as she bent to nuzzle her young daughter and pushed her messy mane, which, among changelings, was unique to a Queen, out of her face.

Moving smartly along, we come to Chrysalis. Again, your shrewd use of Show, Don’t Tell is something I really quite like. Being the only canonical presence in the story, the young Queen-to-be might have been a small stumbling block. But not for you, oh no, and you manage to work in reaffirmation of the Chrysalis WE know (the rash, impetuous, reckless one from A Canterlot Wedding) with this rather sweet and playful child, working in just the right degrees of those more brash qualities to really convince the reader that yes, this child can definitely become that Queen. This actually added a surprisingly bittersweet subtext to the whole story for me, and I applaud your ability to have done that without having overtly attempted at all to force it to be the case. If anything, the unanimous, unconditional happiness of the Festival juxtaposes beautifully with what we know to eventually come next.

If I use the word ‘applaud’ again, I shall sound very redundant, shan’t I?

Oh, as a small aside, I was wondering if the moment reminiscent of Lion King, that one being about the Queens of the past, was intentional or not. Because I was certainly reminded of that, as the same bittersweet awareness of the contentment, even spiritual fulfilment of the now somehow leads to sadder things yet to follow...well, intentional or not it worked in your favour.

Incidentally, chocolate coated fruit bats. Chalk up more points for creative imagery!

Back to other points, let’s take a quick look at an interesting little hook you left snagged somewhere in my upper lip when I bit through it:

The changeling, similar to all his common brethren save for the helmet upon his head and the armor upon his back, marking him as Captain of the Queen's Guard, dipped his head in a small but respectful bow. "As well as ever, my Queen. The great roc flies to the east in search of prey, and the hounds of the Shattered Lands could only howl in anger as we flew over their foul packs."
"And your mission?"
"My apologies, my Queen. The Sunstone yet eludes us, though we are certain it lies within Equestria's borders."

NOW, traditionally, an axiom in writing is that if a thing CAN be removed from a story, it SHOULD be. And if we were to, with obnoxious blindness, do that here there surely would have been no overt loss to Festival of Lights. Everything would be just as it was, the colours, the brightness, the joy, the life, the young Chrysalis.

But another axiom in writing is to screw the rules heartily, and this little blurb we’ve gotten about rocs and hounds Sunstones screams ‘world building!’ at me. And it’s tucked away in the greater press of events, like an interesting mural lining the wall of a hallway one is busily passing through. I am, in fact, surprised that this story isn’t in the World Building Alliance group. It’s just the sort of thing I’d presume they were looking for. A small but happy example of how to do exposition right, I think.

Anyway, to merrily press on, the two big events that face us yet are the prayer and the painting/dancing.

First, the prayer. I don’t think I’ve ever seen iterations of changelings that have spirituality, and I can only stop myself and wonder just why that is. It’s certainly quite beautiful in the context of Festival and really, REALLY hammers home the “These aren’t mindless swarming droning creatures,” angle you’ve utterly steeped the story in. And good on you, because (to step aside from the reviewer’s role for a second) Changelings need more love.

As another brief aside - getting painted is fun. Like, super fun. As is all-night dancing. The visitation of the Old Queens adds a nice sense of completion to the expectations the fic gave me. There’s no pretense about if they should or should not appear; they do, and it’s good, and there’s no pressing need to challenge that.

In summation...the fic is good. Like, really good. I would even dare say call it ‘flawless’ in the sense that, you knew what you were aiming for, you introduced and used all the elements of setting, scene, character and imagery to intelligently support that aim, and you resolved every corner of what you began.

I’m still not sure how you managed that in under six thousand words. It certainly feels like more to read, like a small but absurdly rich chocolate cake.

...or chocolate coated fruit bat. Either or.

As reviewer, this leaves me in a somewhat embarrassing position. I can’t exactly go around calling anything I incidentally see as ‘flawless’, but in this instance...it is genuinely beyond me to see how changing any aspect of this story could improve it, nor do I see any aspect which is lacking in its ability to uphold the stor. Every aspect of Festival of Lights has a function, nothing is used spuriously, those functions are done well, and are done so in harmonious conjunction with every other aspect. In some ways, not unlike a dance or a song.

My final estimation? Well done! Very well done! A finely written piece. Skilfully accomplished, and something to be well proud of.

Again (to step outside the bounds of reviewer) I would be curious about your personal take on how the story progresses after the end. Presuming this is the past and Canterlot Wedding is the present, what is the future of Chrysalis and the changelings, as you’d see it being? Perhaps this alluded to Sunstone yet has a role in things to come, hmm?

Wow. Ambion was really impressed. Reviews with that amount of praise are a rare sight indeed. Honestly, you may want to consider sending EqD this fic.

And also to the WBA, like he advised.

Well done!

I think they only error I saw was at the very end, where it says "bright than the sun", where it seems like its supposed to be "brighter".

4352674 Thanks so much!:twilightsmile:

Oh, as a small aside, I was wondering if the moment reminiscent of Lion King, that one being about the Queens of the past, was intentional or not. Because I was certainly reminded of that, as the same bittersweet awareness of the contentment, even spiritual fulfilment of the now somehow leads to sadder things yet to follow...well, intentional or not it worked in your favour.

Accidental, actually. Looking at it now, I can't believe I wrote it like that without realising.:twilightblush:
Guess classic movies like The Lion King can influence you long after you've watched them.

Again (to step outside the bounds of reviewer) I would be curious about your personal take on how the story progresses after the end. Presuming this is the past and Canterlot Wedding is the present, what is the future of Chrysalis and the changelings, as you’d see it being? Perhaps this alluded to Sunstone yet has a role in things to come, hmm?

Well, that would be telling.:ajsmug:
But if you're really curious... I might do a fic for the Canterlot Wedding in the future.:twilightsmile:
After all... when you're looking for a Sunstone, where better than the Sun's seat of power?

Enticing imagery and an intriguing portrayal of changelings. All in all, a very enjoyable read. :twilightsmile:

I like this. It creates an interesting, sympathetic changeling race, while still leaving the traits that could logically lead them to attack Canterlot. Best of all you avoided the 'victimized changelings' trope which is not only overplayed, but terrible in its own right. Not going to deny though, my first thought upon seeing the name 'Leanan Sidhe' was "what's Dresden's Godmother doing in Equestria?"

4475221 I've never seen Dresden Files, so I had to look it up to see what you were talking about. :twilightsheepish: I chose the Queen's name because of how well the namesake fae fits a changeling character.

4479233
Chuckle, they're both drawn from the same folklore inspiration. I just found it funny.

Holy shit, I can't even think of a single problem with this fic, not even a tiny nitpicky thing like "Lol u missed a period". Really, this is amazing. The imagery is so perfect it begs for fan art, and the little world building moments are quite the treat. Big BIG hats off to you, my good sir/madam.

4694297 Thanks so much!:twilightsmile: That really is high praise.:twilightblush:
Fan art would be amazing, but I don't think it'll happen. :twilightsheepish:

So pretty... You did a fantastic job with this, more that once I found myself looking at the described scene not words on a page. I'm severely tempted to draw Leanan Sidhe dancing with the queens of old, I have a soft spot for dancing ponies as well as one for changelings in general. I'll be sure to link you if I manage to make satisfying results.

4880145 Please do!:pinkiehappy: I love hearing that someone has enjoyed my work so much.:twilightsmile::heart:

I can't
I just can't Cascade.
I am incapable of processing the incredible feelings from this
It's impossible for me to be more astounded by the perfection of your work.
I'm laying it on thick, at least others would think so, but I mean it all. I am just blown away and dumbstruck.
It's beautiful. :raritystarry:

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