Literature: Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell

"A royal event has turned Twilight Sparkle's life upside down. To learn how to handle her new status, Twilight goes to Princess Cadance for some guidance. The princess shares her own story of how she came to rule the Crystal Empire and a magic spell that helped her follow her heart. Inspired by Princess Cadance, Twilight Sparkle sets off on a quest for the Crystal Heart Spell!"

The first officially licensed My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic chapter book and the first in a series by G. M. Berrow, and part of the overall My Little Pony Generation 4 universe. it is placed just after the end of season three and explores Twilight Sparkle's reactions to becoming a princess, and Cadance's own struggles with the same. Done in the style of a typical episode, with a fairly standard plot line and a surprising amount of World Building for a children's book.

This book provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Villainy: By the end of Magic Duel, it seemed like Trixie made a full Heel-Face Turn (Which the comic follows through on), which makes her return to an antagonistic role here rather jarring.
  • Backstory: Goes in depth about Cadance's backstory.
  • The Bus Came Back: Trixie and Gilda. Less so for Trixie, since she had recently appeared in Season 3, but this is Gilda's first reappearance in any sort of Friendship is Magic-related media since Griffon The Brush Off.
  • Call Back:
    • The reveal that she was originally a pegasus makes sense, considering many of her more memorable moments have been in flight.
    • Her transformation into a Princess took her to the same hall of mirrors as Twilight it seems.
  • The Cameo: Derpy, though only identified by looks and muffins, appears in the book.
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase: The title of this and the rest of the books in the MLP G4 chapter book series.
  • Covers Always Lie: The cover features Twilight as a unicorn, despite this being set after the season 3 finale, where she was transformed into an alicorn. May be due to trying to hide the Late-Arrival Spoiler (see below).
  • Continuity Snarl: A couple of them:
  • Famed In-Story: According to the beginning, Twilight has become famous around Equestria.
  • It Was with You All Along: As soon as Cadance and Twilight realize what they needed in order to be effective leaders, the Crystal Heart Spell revealed itself to them.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Barely averted. This book was announced long before Twilight Sparkle was confirmed as becoming an alicorn, so the blurb was intentionally vague about what this 'Royal Event' actually was.
  • Moses in the Bullrushes: Cadance, making her reveal as the Crystal Princess even more Troperiffic.
  • A Mother to Her Citizens: Cadance knows the name of every one of her subjects. Even study queen Twilight is intimidated, and immediately wonders if she should get some flash cards made up.
  • Royal Brat: Twilight becomes increasingly arrogant and disdainful of those around her, her irritation at the less than helpful suggestions of her friends and misinterpretation of Cadance's advice feeding the amulet's corrupting influence.
  • Secret Test of Character: Not that secret, as Cadance clearly explains the amulet's ability to magnify both the noble and not so noble elements of its wearer's character. Twilight misses it completely of coursenote .
  • Shout-Out: A Continuity Nod to the hole in the floor Twilight made from pacing in "It's About Time" is made. The narration says that Spike calls it The Twilight Zone.
  • Smug Snake: Trixie and Gilda supply their normal arrogance, but manage to achieve very little.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Gilda's friendship on Trixie seems to have reversed the later's Heel-Face Turn.
  • Villain Team-Up: Trixie and Gilda have become partners in crime since we last saw them, though for the moment they're just pulling pranks, conning crystal ponies, and giving Twilight bad advice.