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Princess Cadance and the Spring Hearts Garden

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Princess Cadance and the Spring Hearts Garden
Princess Cadance and the Spring Hearts Garden cover
Published May 17, 2016
Author G. M. Berrow
ISBN 978-0-316-38930-3
Previous Lyra and Bon Bon and the Mares from S.M.I.L.E.
Next Twilight's Sparkly Sleepover Surprise
See also
AllusionsLittle, Brown and CompanyHachette Book Group

My Little Pony: Princess Cadance and the Spring Hearts Garden by G. M. Berrow is the nineteenth in a series of chapter books published by Little, Brown and Company and the third entry in a four-book miniseries called "The Princess Collection".[1] In this book, Princess Cadance tries to bring the Crystal Empire together with a garden celebration to herald the arrival of spring.

Summary

Table of contents
Chapter titlePages
Chapter 1: Heartsong
Chapter 2: Matters of the Crystal Heart
Chapter 3: Castle Grounded
Chapter 4: A Growing Idea
Chapter 5: Helping Hooves
Chapter 6: The Greenhouse
Chapter 7: Float On
Chapter 8: Caught Off Royal Guard
Chapter 9: Panic! at the Castle
Chapter 10: The Crystal Crown Café
Chapter 11: Master Gardener Alabaster Stone
Chapter 12: Crystal-Blue Persuasion
Chapter 13: The Horse Awakens
Chapter 14: Garden Hearts Celebration

Heartsong

The story begins in the Crystal Empire during its annual Hearts and Hooves Day Heartsong ceremony. As part of the ceremony, everyone in the Empire would be led in heartfelt song to power the Crystal Heart with the light and love within them. Unfortunately, a considerable number of Crystal Ponies have fallen ill with the pony sniffles this year and are confined to their homes.

Princess Cadance worries that the light and love of those in attendance will not be enough to power the Heart, but she carries out the ceremony anyway. As the orchestra plays the newborn princess Flurry Heart's favorite song, the Crystal Ponies sing along, and their magic empowers the Crystal Heart, keeping the Empire safe for another season.

Once the Heartsong ceremony comes to a close, Cadance meets with some old friends, particularly a cafe owner named Lilac Quartz and her moody daughter Olivine Jewel. During their conversation, Olivine Jewel brings something to Cadance's attention: the light inside the Crystal Heart is dying out.

A Growing Idea

As Cadance races to inform Shining Armor of the Crystal Heart's state, she is briefly distracted by a vision of a large, beautiful garden with ponies singing and laughing in the background. Shining Armor snaps her out of it and recognizes this phenomenon as one of Cadance's "future visions"—which always accurately predict the future. Worried about the current state of the Crystal Heart, Cadance resolves to make her vision come true by organizing a big garden celebration that brings the Crystal Ponies together and powers the Heart forever.

The next morning, Shining Armor receives an urgent request from Princess Celestia to hold royal guard recruitment trials, preventing him from helping Cadance with her own task. To make matters worse, the old garden where Cadance wants to hold her celebration is in a severe state of disrepair. Still hopeful, she attempts to fix the garden up herself, but she makes very little progress over the course of several hours.

As a castle tour for the Crystal Preparatory School passes through, Cadance introduces herself to the group. When she informs them of her garden celebration project, the students and their teacher offer to assist. One of the students—Olivine Jewel—is not as eager as the others.

Helping Hooves

By the following morning, the garden restoration efforts are in full swing. Princess Cadance is pleased by her subjects' efforts, and she helps out whenever she can, but royal empire business keeps her mostly preoccupied. Olivine Jewel expresses irritation that Cadance is making her subjects do all the work, but her classmates Fire Opal and Star Seed insist that they are volunteers.

As the three discuss ways to improve the garden, Olivine Jewel has an idea to make it look like it was before the rule of King Sombra. She brings them to the house of her grandfather Alabaster Stone, where he keeps a large collection of magical flower seeds, and she suggests planting them in Cadance's garden.

When Cadance and Shining Armor finally get some time to themselves, Cadance shows her husband the fruits of her labor: the restoration of the garden is going smoothly, and some of the Crystal Heart's light has returned. However, one of Cadance's subjects informs her of a sudden and strange development: one of the volunteers has come down with uncontrollable giggling as a result of working in the garden. After using her magic to undo the enchantment, Cadance decides to investigate this further.

Panic! at the Castle

Some time later, the restoration of the garden is completed. However, Cadance notices a number of Crystal Ponies behaving strangely, such as staring at their own reflections and speaking in hums. This is revealed to be the work of Olivine Jewel, who is still bitter about Cadance forcing her subjects to do manual labor.

Cadance, Shining Armor, and their castle staff try to figure out what is causing this mayhem, with the possible suspects ranging from Discord to the changelings to even King Sombra. However, realizing that the anomalies are mostly harmless, Cadance begins to suspect that Olivine Jewel is the true culprit. As the Crystal Ponies' behavior worsens to the point where Cadance is unable to fix it with her magic, she feels guilty for twisting her future vision to suit her own desires.

Crystal-Blue Persuasion

Cadance goes to Lilac Quartz's cafe home and asks about her daughter. Lilac takes Cadance to Alabaster Stone's house, where Olivine Jewel spends much of her time. Upon seeing the decor of Alabaster's house, Cadance realizes that he was once a famous Crystal Empire gardener. The elderly Alabaster is awakened from his nap, and Cadance and Lilac ask him about Olivine. Alabaster claims ignorance, but when he notices his collection of magical seeds is gone, he understands what has happened.

By the time Cadance brings Alabaster to the castle, the trouble has reached out-of-control levels as dozens of Crystal Ponies fall victim to magical plants. Even Alabaster himself soon succumbs to their effects, much to Olivine Jewel's dismay. Olivine apologizes to Cadance for letting things get so out of hand.

Cadance comes up with an idea and goes to the spot in the garden that she saw in her future vision. As she tries to recall the vision's every little detail, she remembers hearing ponies singing in the background. With this information, Cadance returns to the chaotic garden and starts to sing. One by one, the Crystal Ponies snap out of their enchantments and join in. As their song reaches its climax, the light inside the Crystal Heart is completely restored.

The Garden Hearts Celebration

With the situation brought under control, Lilac Quartz scolds Olivine Jewel for stealing her grandfather's seeds and asks her why she did all of this. Olivine confesses that she was bitter toward Cadance—not only for not giving her grandfather his job back as the royal gardener after the Crystal Empire returned from its thousand-year absence, but also for making her fix up the garden that he had tended to for years. She also admits that she wanted Fire Opal and Star Seed to like her and be her friend.

Fire Opal and Star Seed say that they liked Olivine Jewel already and that they are more than happy to be friends with her. In addition, Cadance apologizes to Olivine for not approaching her back during the Heartsong ceremony and talking to her about her problems. Olivine goes on to admit that during the garden restoration, she developed a love for gardening. As she offers Cadance a rose in apology, Olivine Jewel earns her cutie mark: a green heart-shaped jewel surrounded by vines.

The story ends with Cadance's Garden Hearts Celebration being realized, with Olivine Jewel appointed as the Grand Mareshall of the float parade. When she asks Cadance why she was chosen for this position after what she did, Cadance says it is because she reminds her of spring:

"No matter how cold the winter—or how big our mistakes—may be, there is always time to start fresh again."
— Princess Cadance

Quotes

Princess Cadance: Dearest Crystal ponies! Each Hearts and Hooves Day, we join together so our love will warm us through the few remaining days of our frosty winter and carry us into our beautiful spring.
Shining Armor: See, Mi Amore?
Princess Cadance: You know I don't like to be called that name.
Shining Armor: I know—that's why I do it.
Lilac Quartz: Between you and me, Princess, she's not the same little filly she used to be. All doom and gloom with her these days, I'm afraid. Everything is either boring or embarrassing. Teenagers, you know?
Princess Cadance: Your cutie marks are definitely important, but some very special fillies in Ponyville recently helped remind me that a cutie mark is just one part of you. Everypony can be wonderful at all sorts of things. You just have to try!
Olivine Jewel: I hate this garden. It's no use trying to fix it anyway. It's never going to be like it was before King Sombra.
Shimmer Berry: It's definitely Discord! Has all his trademarks! Silly sights, silly sounds, silly smells...
Jade Wing: The changelings are here! And they're impersonating our friends. Don t changelings hum? I think I read that in here somewhere....
Butler Pony: King Sombra is back. He's going to suck all the love out of the Empire again....
Alabaster Stone: Daffospills... and Reflection Roses...? Giggling Funflowers, Humzinnias, and Lazililies? If anypony plants those seeds and smells those flowers, we're going to have a major problem on our hooves.
Olivine Jewel: I grew this one by myself. No magic spells.
Princess Cadance: It's perfect.
Fire Opal: And so is your cutie mark! It looks almost like... a Garden Heart.

References

  1. Little, Brown and Company. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - Spring-Summer 2015. Retrieved on 2015 November 2.

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