FimFiction Link - Short ID: 223997/a-good-princess
Published: Dec '14
'A Good Princess' is a six thousand and two hundred-word oneshot. Chrysalis, impersonating Cadence, is invited to a royal meeting, where Celestia and Luna confide in her that there are changelings living in Canterlot. This comes at the queen from absolutely the left field and she almost lets her disguise drop in her anger at seeing her children willingly desert her hive. She composes herself and asks for a list of names under the pretense of observing them. Soon she sets out to meet one of them, disguised as a pegasus pony and upon seeing that he feels absolutely no remorse and, what even more confuses the queen, actual love for another pony, she returns to the castle in distress. The story ends with her not wanting to pursue the rouges, because "they'll meet the same fate as everypony else in the end."
What a nice story! I really like the author's approach to prose. Places are detailed to a level that doesn't feel superfluous, yet paint a nice picture and help the reader's imagination. Chrysalis' behavior and the "thousand voices in the back of her head" are also very well done, it's one of the nicest depictions I've seen of the hive-mind without explicitly having to spell it out. I also found her inner struggle to be portrayed in a good way: On one hand, as a mother she can't help but be a bit happy that some of her children are so content and are able to walk with their head held up high, but on the other, she considers them irredeemable traitors, whom gave up their very identity and live in the shadow of ponies, just to be happy. The ending is also ominous, especially with knowing what happens in the show.
The only real issue I see with the story is that Chrysalis-Cadence acts way too suspicious and yet it raises exactly no alarms. I'm in a bit of a hard situation at whether to truly chalk this up as a problem, because in the show she clearly outmaneuvered everyone (except Twilight of course), so I can't exactly fault the author for making Celestia and Luna so oblivious. Yet, I feel like this excuse only works to a certain extent, because in this fic, she gives way too many signs at not being herself. In the show she was clearly careful not to act too out of the line, but here she professes an intimate knowledge over changelings (to an extent she shouldn't necessarily need to know) and what's even more troubling, immediately calls for the execution of the traitors and acts very uncharacteristically around Celestia. To be clear, I still very much enjoyed the story, but at some point the character's behavior started teetering on the edge of being unbelievable.
Overall: 7/10 It's a strong story, with great prose and nice internal monologue. As long as you can suspend your disbelief about Sunhorse acting slightly dumber than she should, I recommend it.