/mlp/ Fanfic Reviews

The King and The Great and Powerful

FimFiction Link - Short ID: 557250/the-king-and-the-great-and-powerful

Published: May '24

Review in No. 41100195
It's one of those stories I found both quite entertaining and off-putting and it's not even because it's post-S9 (though, really, it could be set almost anytime after Glimmer is redeemed).
In this story we're treated to Sombra's alternative universe where he had won. Cellie is imprisoned, Luna is dead, and Sombra himself is deathly bored. So far so good. One day Trixie appears and her bravado completely wows the king, who had grown extremely exasperated by the sycophant culture he himself cultivated. The rest of the story is a precarious dance of one trying to assert dominance over the other. In terms of the fundamental plot, I liked it a lot! Trixie is Trixie and both her toeing the line so that she's both excitingly shameless, yet not too irritating and her plot to defeat Sombra by his own shortcomings are really enjoyable. There's also some nice lines in the fic and I liked the resolution (except for two things).
What's less enjoyable is how non-pony the fic feels. It's one thing that ponies are executed left and right, but I think I finally understand what people meant during the 'GTG' club, because the fic almost immediately presents us with the mental image of Sombra's mind-controlled ponies wetting themselves and worse, because "he cannot control bodily functions with magic". Gross, but if it was the only questionable part, I could've stepped over it with a note. But this fic is also ridiculously horny despite its plot and rating. Sombra's harem and the fact that he's having sex with them is mentioned a lot, he keeps touching Trixie's thigh, attention is given to Trixie crossing her hind legs. Obviously this is all partly done to depict Sombra as a pony who "has his way" with others, but while there's nothing outright M-rated I almost felt like I'm reading a hastily-ponified and censored anthro clopfic instead of a story at times.
The sexuality aside, I'm also very much not a fan of how a certain plot thread was handled. Sombra's phylactery is mentioned several times in the story, along with how he's really cautious and wearing a fake one, so nobody can take him by surprise... Well, by the end of the fic, Starlight off-screen finds and destroys it.. and that's that. I understand it wasn't the main point, but after such buildup, it was a disappointing conclusion, that takes away from the impact of Trixie's elaborate scheme. I'm also not a fan of her being the "main timeline" Trixie and the whole excursion being a "fun afternoon" / date thing she does weekly with Starlight. It's foreshadowed, in a pretty clever way even, but I still felt like it retroactively took away from the stakes.
Overall: 5/10 Completely on the fence with this one. Loved most of the concept, hated most of the execution. Except for Trixie, she somehow makes everything better. I guess she is just that Great and Powerful.