FimFiction Link - Short ID: 514962/the-duchess-of-canterlot
Published: Apr '22
'The Duchess of Canterlot' is a four thousand-word oneshot. A noble asks Celestia to preside over his wedding. Celestia has other plans.
Interestingly despite this story being one continuous narrative (with minor time-skips) there is a pretty clear divide around the second third of the story. The first two-thirds have the usual fic-feel to them, but I feel like the last third is almost straight out of an episode. The change was so unexpected at first that I almost chalked it up as an issue in the story, but - despite ending in a fairly expected outcome - I ultimately liked what I saw, so I'm only really mentioning this as something I found interesting. Regardless of which part we consider, however, the prose is very comfy and the characters are nicely presented. Trollestia might be an ancient concept, but the story puts a believable enough spin on it and I find the idea that even when she's goofing off, she has very serious and important reasons to be a nice approach to her characterization. The noble is just snobbish enough to act as an "antagonist" without being insufferable. Teen Cadance is also a likeable headcanon, the story does a nice job at showing her as being young and just slightly awkward, but not in an annoying or overdone way. Because the plot is so short and simple, I won't really delve into any details, but as mentioned before, while I could see it from the very beginning where this story would be going, the execution makes it still a worthwhile experience.
Perhaps the only thing that I didn't really like about this story was Cadance's monologue. The concept itself is more than fine, again, the whole thing feels almost like a scene taken straight out of the show, but to me it felt like she goes on and on about love, even though what she means is very quickly made obvious. It almost feels a bit patronizing, even though I'm fairly certain that wasn't the author's intention. Also this is a really minor thing, but Celestia says this in the first third of the story:
>"I'm aware. But you won't just be another guest of honor. This will be a test as well. For you."
And yet at the end the following exchange happens between the two:
>"Although, it was also a test. For somepony else."
>"And that was...?"
I wouldn't say it broke my immersion, but it feels like an oversight.
Overall: 6/10 While it probably won't shock you with its novelty and has a few slight pain points around its ending, if you just want a comfy SoL story with an uncomplicated plot, this fic is perfect for that. Can recommend.