|Princess Twilight Sparkle and the Forgotten Books of Autumn|
|Published||November 1, 2016|
|Author||G. M. Berrow|
|Previous||My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: The Legend of Everfree|
|Next||Wondercolts Forever: The Diary of Celestia and Luna|
|Allusions • Little, Brown and Company • Hachette Book Group|
My Little Pony: Princess Twilight Sparkle and the Forgotten Books of Autumn by G. M. Berrow is the twenty-third book in a series of chapter books published by Little, Brown and Company and the fourth and final entry in the four-book "Princess Collection" miniseries.
In this book, while attempting to find a way to stop a curse that's affecting many books, Princess Twilight Sparkle discovers a lost and forgotten village. This is the second original chapter book to focus on Princess Twilight after Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell.
|Table of contents|
|Chapter 1: Once Upon a Book|
|Chapter 2: A Spine-Chilling Discovery|
|Chapter 3: Canterlot Bound|
|Chapter 4: By the Light of the Moondancer|
|Chapter 5: Taking Notes|
|Chapter 6: Spike the Sneaky|
|Chapter 7: The Great Quill|
|Chapter 8: Hey, Bales!|
|Chapter 9: Ancient Wisdom and Novel Notions|
|Chapter 10: By the Books|
|Chapter 11: Little Shop of Ponies|
|Chapter 12: The Table of Contents|
|Chapter 13: The Autumnal Equine-nox|
|Chapter 14: The Map|
|Chapter 15: Bales Fall Friendship Book Festival|
Once Upon a Book
The story begins during the fall season in Ponyville. On her way home to the Castle of Friendship, Princess Twilight Sparkle bumps into Sweetie Belle. When Twilight asks Sweetie about a book on potion-making that she recently borrowed, Sweetie confesses that she accidentally ruined the book during a potion-making attempt. Luckily, Twilight says that she knows of a way to restore it.
At the castle library, Twilight fetches the book Primrose the Prescient's Protections and Prophecies and finds a spell called the Shield of Wisdom, which is "crucial for protecting knowledge one holds dear". Unfortunately, the spell can only be completed on the Autumnal Equine-nox before the upcoming Running of the Leaves. Even worse, Twilight discovers that ink has mysteriously begun to appear all over the pages in Protections and Prophecies and obscure all the words underneath. Thus, Twilight sets out to find another copy of the book.
Accompanied by Spike, Twilight flies to Canterlot to search the library for another copy of Protections and Prophecies. She explains to Spike that if she doesn't complete the Shield of Wisdom spell on the Equine-nox, they will have to wait another moon cycle before attempting it again. Twilight tries to inform Princess Celestia, but one of the royal guards tells her that Celestia has been called away to Monacolt for an emergency. Spike advises Twilight against writing Celestia a letter so that she is not troubled by another emergency while already taking care of one. Instead, Twilight and Spike head to the Canterlot Library.
At the library, Twilight and Spike run into Moon Dancer. Twilight asks her if she another copy of Protections and Prophecies, but she claims to have not any copies since the rule of Discord. When Twilight shows her the inkblot staining the book's pages, Moon Dancer tries to magically remove it, but she only causes it to grow larger. Twilight identifies the phenomenon as Inknorance, a magical curse that affects books and erases the knowledge they contain, and she realizes that she unintentionally unleashed the curse by casting the Shield of Wisdom spell only halfway.
Twilight, Moon Dancer, and Spike search for a solution in Moon Dancer's cottage, and Twilight's conscience weighing heavy for unwittingly unleashing the Inknorance curse on her books. While looking through Moon Dancer's notes, Spike finds an old map of Equestria that Moon Dancer drew when she was little. On the map, he sees a location called Bales which, according to Moon Dancer, is a mythical town full of bookstores and libraries. While Moon Dancer does not have anything to get rid of Inknorance, she casts a spell to temporarily stop it from spreading to other books. In the meantime, Twilight and Spike set out to find a solution at the Mythica University library.
On the way to Mythica, Twilight tells Spike to send letters to her friends in Ponyville and Princess Luna in Canterlot to let them know what's going on, but Spike is too engrossed in a story about Bales that he borrowed from Moon Dancer. Though the town is believed to be fictional, Spike suggests they try and find it and its treasure trove of books. Against her better judgment, Twilight changes direction and heads toward Bales' presumed location.
Following the notes and drawings in Moon Dancer's book, Twilight and Spike pass several landmarks that point the way to Bales. However, when they reach the location where Bales is supposed to be, they only find a large and empty field. They believe their search has been in vain, but just before losing all hope, Twilight casts a revealing spell that causes the village of Bales to appear out of nowhere.
Ancient Wisdom and Novel Notions
In the small village, Twilight and Spike find a number of book-themed houses and bookstores but seemingly no residents. Inside one of the bookstores, they meet the shy store owner Saddle Stitch, who is considerably surprised to meet ponies from outside the village. According to Saddle Stitch, no one wants to be friends with the ponies of Bales and have stopped visiting a long time ago. She allows Twilight to search for a copy of Protections and Prophecies, but during her search, she discovers that the Inknorance curse has reached Bales but having the opposite effect. While ink is appearing all over book pages in the rest of Equestria, ink is disappearing from Bales' books.
The next morning, after spending the evening in Saddle Stitch's cottage, Twilight and Spike meet Bales' town librarian and literary expert Paperbuck, who believes there may be a copy of Protections and Prophecies somewhere in the village.
When asked why Bales has a magic barrier around it that makes it invisible to outsiders, Saddle Stitch tells the myth of an unfriendly wizard who placed a curse on the village that caused it turn from a book town bustling with activity to a village of isolation. However, Paperbuck explains that the real reason no one visits is because the ponies of Bales are very shy and like to keep to themselves. Thus, no one wants to be friends with them, and none of the villagers want to leave such a tight-knit community.
The Table of Contents
With each passing day, the Autumnal Equine-nox gets closer, the Inknorance curse spreads to more and more books, and Twilight and Saddle Stitch are still unable to find a copy of Protections and Prophecies in any of the village shops. Suddenly, Spike appears to inform them that Paperbuck has had a copy of the book the entire time but is keeping it a secret for some reason. When they go to confront Paperbuck in the old village library, they find a secret council of ponies called the "Table of Contents" discussing whether or not to give Protections and Prophecies to Twilight.
Paperbuck reveals that he kept the book a secret from Twilight because the myth about the wizard who put a curse on Bales is real, and he was afraid that something else would befall his village. After Twilight assures Paperbuck that she would never do anything to harm Bales or its residents, the council ponies give her the book, and she recognizes some writing inside that was written by the great wizard Comet Tail the Starry-Eyed.
From Comet Tail's notes, Twilight learns that he cast a spell not to curse Bales but to protect its vast collection of books. However, because he cast the Shield of Wisdom on the Spring Equine-nox instead of the Autumnal Equine-nox, the spell created an "invisibubble" that turned the whole town invisible. With the council's permission, Twilight decides to cast the Shield of Wisdom spell on the Autumnal Equine-nox the next day—the only time that it is intended to be cast—and release Bales from the invisibubble.
The Autumnal Equine-nox
At sunrise the next day, the Autumnal Equine-nox finally arrives, and ponies gather in Bales' town square with books that have been blanked by the Inknorance curse. Using the Protections and Prophecies book, Twilight casts the complete Shield of Wisdom spell, causing the ink in the books to be restored and the invsibubble to shatter. Several hours later, Moon Dancer and the rest of Twilight's friends arrive to inform her that the books in Canterlot also affected by the Inknorance have returned to normal as well.
With the village of Bales no longer invisible, Twilight and her friends organize a book festival that draws in ponies from all over Equestria. The previously reclusive villagers learn to embrace friendship, and they thank Twilight for everything she's done. The Table of Contents grants Twilight permission to take any of their books home with her, but Twilight declines. Instead, she decides that any time she wants a new book, she'll come back to Bales and visit her new friends.
- Twilight Sparkle I'm not mad. It's just a book, after all.
- Sweetie Belle: Really?
- Twilight Sparkle You're my friend. That matters much more to me.
- Twilight Sparkle There's a library full of books to search. I hope you didn't make any dinner reservations at the Tasty Treat—this could take all evening!
- Spike: Awww. Me and my big mouth! Guess you'll just have to wait till our next trip to try those treats Rarity was raving about....
- Twilight Sparkle: Sorry, Spike! Next time, we'll come to Canterlot for some reason other than a crisis.
- Moon Dancer: A stain? This is the tragedy of all tragedies!
- Spike: Didn't Moondancer's[sic] dad work for the Canterlot Historical Society?
- Twilight Sparkle: Yes...he did! How did you remember that?
- Spike: Got a mind like a treasure chest with an unbreakable lock. Which reminds me: I seem to recall that you have another packet of Emerald Munchies in your saddlebag....
- Spike: I think we should try to find... The Lost City of Books!
- Twilight Sparkle: We aren't starring in a Daring Do book right now, Spike. We could be wasting precious time on a wild-goose chase. The only pony I know who can chase a wild goose is Applejack, and she's already off chasing them at the annual Apple Family Goose Chase right now!
- Saddle Stitch: Y-y-you're...from outside?
- Twilight Sparkle: Don't worry, we mean no harm. We come as friends...friends from afar!
- Saddle Stitch: Friends from afar? I've read about those, but I didn't think they were real....
- Saddle Stitch: Oh no. It's happening again!
- Twilight Sparkle: What is?
- Saddle Stitch: It-it-it's been so l-l-long since the books have been read that they're giving up. The words have left and they're not coming back.
- Spike: Empty pages... Twilight! Didn't you say back at Moondancer's house that the ink from the Inknorance—
- Twilight Sparkle: Had been sucked from another book! Yes, of course! Saddle Stitch...your words are being pulled into our books!
- Paperbuck: You ponies don't understand! What if something terrible happens? The last time a wizard tried to help us, all he did was curse us instead. We've learned to live without any new friends. It's safer this way. We're doing just fine on our own here in Bales!
- Twilight Sparkle: Wisdom of wizards, knowledge of herds! We use these forces to shield our words. Restore forgotten, reveal true facts...the Shield of Wisdom will now bring it all back!
- Rainbow Dash: So, Moondancer[sic] came to see us at the castle with a cart full of books. It was so weird—they'd all turned black or something.
- Moon Dancer: That's right. I had isolated the Inknorance, but I wanted to see if Starlight Glimmer could help. You mentioned she was a natural with magic....
- Starlight Glimmer: Aw, you said that, Twi? Shucks.
- Rarity: Anyway, out of nowhere, this gorgeous blast of magic came shooting through the windows!
- Applejack: It cured all of Moondancer's[sic] books. Wiped the gunk clean away.
- Pinkie Pie: So then the map started going all craaaaaazy! It just flickered and then BOOM! A whole town that we never even knew existed was right there! Totally wackadoodle-doo!
- Little, Brown and Company. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - Spring-Summer 2015. Retrieved on 2015 November 2.