FimFiction Link - Short ID: 540086/a-canterlot-gala
Published: Aug '23
'A Canterlot Gala' is a four-thousand word comedy shortfic. Who said Changelings could only invade weddings?
In terms of technicalities the story is mostly really easy to read and keeps the reader's attention, which is always a welcome thing to see. The prose is simple, but not dry, and even the few times things might get into a slump, the author is quick to raise spirits with a pun or snappy joke. I personally prefer prose a tiny bit more elaborate than this, but this isn't an actual criticism on the story—prose like this is *vastly* preferable to cramming pointless details and dragging down the pacing. At most I can argue that when some cuts happen, it isn't immediately obvious who's talking or doing something, which can get a little disorientating, but it's nothing a little pronoun- and name-juggling couldn't fix.
But, of course, the main question in a story like this is: Does the comedy work? And hell yeah, it does. What specifically made it for me was how layered the humour is. There is obviously the overarching joke of Blueblood being replaced and Chrissy, despite not really being familiar with his character, doing a far better job at being him than the actual snobhorse would be. But also the way she hunts down the M6 is amusing and felt very in character. The story skims over a lot of details (like how the staff was so quickly replaced and how not a single soul had any worries about ponies just disappearing), but nothing that seriously strained my immersion and it allowed the story to laser-focus on the important parts. I also really liked the way Pinkie was depicted here, she's a very minor role, but the few glimpses we get are absolutely delighftul and early-season kino.
The only part I didn't really like was the resolution of the story: Obviously Chrysalis losing was a given, but Twilight/Celestia's gotcha moment felt really out of the blue. I see why they had suspicions and if I squint things make sense, but it wasn't nearly as satisfying or fun as the rest of the story. It just felt like the positive ending had to happen, so Chrysalis had to job, instead of her slipping up properly or something else causing her plan to fail. It's a bit of a shame, but thankfully still not enough to drag things down for me.
Overall: 7/10 This story feels like an early fandom fic, with all the pros and cons such entails. It's simple, harmless, funny, and a little jumbled at places. There's clearly room to improve, but all in all, it made me smile and even laugh a few times, so it gets a warm recommendation from me.