FimFiction Link - Short ID: 442022/not-yet-princess-twilight-sparkle-and-the-tale-of-the-dark-empress-of-teatime
Published: Jun '19
Not-Yet-Princess Twilight is a 19k dramatic adventure story where Princess Celestia tells filly Twily a tale. It also has a 5,4k chapter at the end, but we can talk about that later.
Overall, the story is enjoyable. Wishing to impart a serious bit of wisdom on a young Twilight, Celestia tells her about this one time she was extremely stupid when taking care of Sunny Sunshine. Seriously, I know in the show she tends to take a laissez-faire approach to everything, but here she sees Sunset twisting and becoming more and more evil and she just stands there going "No... No... Don't do that... No..." It reminded me of how the Jedi just didn't seem to notice Anakin stewing all these fears and angers back in Episode 2 and 3.
That aside, Filly Twilight was adorable. I've yet to read a story with filly Twilight that didn't feel me with glee, or at least put a smile on my face. I love the way she reacts to the story, be it intrigue, confusion, fear, or mild bafflement at Celestia's questionable decisions. Even when she hugs Spike (and later ignores him in favour of Smartypants). She was a delight.
Sunset's side of the story was... alright. A bit uneven, I'd say. The start was a bit in your face. It almost feels like kudzu was going "Boy, that girl Shimmy sure is a rotten egg, isn't she?", but thankfully it's not long before she's sent on her mission.
Nadir is a great antagonist. I wish we could've gotten more of her side of things. The latter reveal with the curse was interesting, too. Overall is a well done and layered conflict, and Nadir is a very interesting character. Sunny going off the deep end and the way she deals with her is compelling, too.
And then comes the epilogue.
It's odd, because it contains a good pay-off to Luna and Sunset, but it also dumps you this huge amount of details regarding the -verse in which this is set, despite this being pretty self-contained up to this point. A mixed bag that really drags the story down.
However, not enough for it to sour my experience. A net positive in the end, NYP Twily's teatime is a fun story. Would recommend, even if with caveats.