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            Mendacity on FimFiction

This is the third “Bon Bon is a changeling” story I’ve read to date, and it’s definitely the best thus far. Actually, the writing reminded me of something I least expected in a pony fanfic - The Name of the Wind. The writing is definitely good, if a bit overabundant at times, venturing into purpleness. The author works very hard to build his own world inside the ponyverse, and his efforts are on the mark most of the time. Bon Bon is well fleshed out and I found Lyra’s portrayal, while adhering a tad too strongly to fannon, to be agreeable. An OC character made for a good juxtaposition with Bon Bon on her quest, and also served well to provide the reader with well timed comic relief and at times to ask the questions the reader would need answered. I am however unable to rate this fic without diving into some more serious spoilers. Suffice to say, I would not recommend it for people looking mainly for a romance story - it’s much more adventure/triller/drama/worldbuilding than it is romance.

So, spoilers ahead! This story takes place during A Canterlot Wedding, and it ties in with the events of the S2 finale. The interactions with the show's storyline are sporadic and distant, but nevertheless the invasion of the changelings is the main driving force of the story. Bon Bon is a changeling in hiding that has chosen to live as a pony after falling in love with Lyra. She has hidden her identity thus far, and has passed her constantly changing voice as a little quirk of hers. She unwittingly meets a kelpie named Aldrovanda who informs her of the impending invasion. Bon Bon decides to warn the Captain of the Guard in Canterlot, and thus help preserve her peace of life. Needless to say, her warning comes after Chrysalis has replaced Cadence, and Lyra is kidnapped as a hostage against Bon Bon. From then on, she and Aldrovanda (who tags along for her own reasons) head on a quest to save Lyra. The worldbuilding is very extensive in this story, and we are given a backstory for the origin of Changelings, and all other matter of magical creatures.

The problem is, for as extensive the worldbuilding is, it doesn’t quite mash with MLP. Apparently, Changelings and other Faerie were created by Discord for his amusement, and he even made iron, one of the most common metals in existence, a deadly poison to them. This strikes me as something that doesn’t quite match with what we know of him - it is too mean-spirited, and too vengeful-god-like for me to accept. Actually, the whole work switches gear when these concepts are introduced (origin of the Faerie, their mortality and so on). The prose changed from more action oriented to more descriptions and scene setting, and the tone felt quite different.

And then there are the interactions of the story with what we know from the season finale - it actually felt like the constraints of adhering to what happened in the show were actively strangling the work, and there were several places when things happened, only to be reset back to a status quo a few pages later, so that show canon would be preserved. Honestly, it was boring and dreary to read, and the fact that basically about one-third to a half of the story took place in a cave didn’t help much.

I would be remiss however not to mention an amazing and extremely heart-felt song that Lyra sings at her reunion with Bon Bon. Songs in fimfiction are rare to come by, and even rarer to be actually good, but this one really tugged on my heartstrings, so to say. It felt like the most just reward, well deserved at the end of a journey. There is an actual rendition of this song on Soundcloud - The Wind and the Wanderer (which I believe was sung by the author's mother and contains a few minor lyrical changes from the text in the fic itself). Only that this amazingly emotionally charged reunion turned out not to be the end, but just a two thirds of the way. The transition after the song, where they have to be separated again because (what felt like the only reason) the fic had to keep in check with the events of A Canterlot Wedding Part 2 felt like the most contrived in all the story and really took away from my enjoyment of it.

In the end, I’m conflicted. The writing can be quite exceptional at times, and the author clearly put a lot of thought into what he did. The end result however felt disjointed from the pony universe more often than not, and some descriptions and jokes overstayed their welcome. There were a lot of tiny jokes about physics that reminded me of Pratchett’s writing, but I felt a distinct lack of finesse in their execution. Example:

Princess Luna swished her tail irritably - a bizarre sight, as her diaphanous, drifting tail was not entirely physical, and appeared to flow rather than swish. For a moment, Bon Bon had the strangest impression that some of the star-like specs of light in the alicorn’s tail had gleamed blue as they shifted towards her, and red as they drew away.

Yay, you know what redshift is, bravo... only that this kind of smells of a “look how well read I am” statement more than anything else. There were several similar passages, but this one stayed with me. And now I really don’t know what to rate this fic. It’s not average, the author is skilled and the writing is executed with a purpose. There are a few “and then this happened” moments in the story, but nothing too terrible. On the other hand, I never managed to get excited for this story in general. I will most of the times read stories in one of two mindsets, a rational one or an emotional one. I love reading Pratchett’s stories with a rational mindset, because for all their strangeness, they make sense on basic plot and world level, and there’s an enjoyment to be found in his execution. I like reading in the emotional mindset when I can forsake some requirements of plot consistency if things make sense on a character level, and the emotional stakes are high enough. Here however the writing beckons more my rational side, and it felt dissatisfying. Not bad by any means, just... not right for me. And in the end I am forced to give the average rating of 3.5 out of 5 to this story. Which is a damn shame...

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#8 · 184w, 2d ago · · ·

Thank you very much for the Fave of Every Little Bit! I'm glad that you could enjoy my peek at the world of Dash and Spike!:moustache::rainbowkiss:

Author Interviewer
#7 · 189w, 6d ago · · ·


Alternately, you can just ask for my take on any (complete) story you want. :B If it matters to you.

#6 · 190w, 1h ago · · ·


Heh, that is a cool number indeed. Thanks for the review offer, I might just take you up on it provided I manage to finish a story sometime in the next few years :)

Looking forward to reading through your backlog of reviews, and then seeing your new ones :)

Author Interviewer
#5 · 190w, 9h ago · · ·

Hello, watcher #333! :D I like numbers, so I was going to offer you a story review, but I'm not sure if that would be of any use to you, since you seem to do the same. :B

Site Blogger
#4 · 207w, 3d ago · · ·

Thank you for faving Old Friends!

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