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WIP The Monomythical Adventures of RM & ES by maggiemerc - T - Once Upon a Time

Discussion in 'Television and Movies' started by Jarik, Mar 22, 2017.

  1. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

    Feb 13, 2008
    Title: The Monomythical Adventures of Regina Mills and Emma Swan
    Author: maggiemerc
    Rating: T
    Genre: Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Quest, Femslash
    Chapters: 61
    Words: 340,182
    Updated: January 15, 2015
    Published: February 10, 2012
    Status: WIP (though hasn't been updated for a while)
    Fandom: Once Upon a Time
    Pairings: Emma Swan/Regina Milla (The Evil Queen)
    Summary: A Season 2 AU where Regina gets dragged kicking and screaming onto the path to redemption and Emma gets dragged kicking and screaming onto the path of superhero and Snow watches with bated breath.
    Link: AO3 - series
    Book 1: Destiny is the Rabbit Hole (96,336 words)
    Book 2: The Four Thieves (10,119 words)
    Book 3: Toxic is the Unyielding Love (105,785 words)
    Book 4: Dangerous is the Vexed God (127,942 words)

    So let's start off by saying I enjoyed this story having never seen the Once Upon a Time TV series, and having no familiarity with the fandom at all. And by enjoyed, this is probably my favourite fic I've read this year so far.

    The story is written well enough that you can reasonably pick up the general concept of the canon events so far, but here's a basic primer on the canon concept which probably helps to understand the story a bit better below:

    Basically, there is a universe filled with fairy tale characters. In this world, Snow White was at war with her stepmother, the Evil Queen Regina Mills. The Evil Queen cast a curse provided to her by Rumpelstiltskin which brought all the inhabitants of the Enchanted Forest to our world, threw them into a small town where time didn't progress called Storybrooke and wiped all their memories except Regina's.

    Snow White however had a daughter which she managed to save, who was prophesized to break the curse - the Saviour. Emma Swan grew up an orphan, floating between foster families, turning to crime, ended up with a teenage pregnancy while in jail and had to give up her son.

    Regina, the Evil Queen, having gotten bored of being stuck in a town that never ages for 18 years ends up adopting a son (unknowingly being Emma's) and ends up genuinely loving him. At ten years old, Henry finds out his mother is the Evil Queen and runs away to find his birth mother. And you can probably guess what happens from there - Emma returns, breaks the curse, etc etc.

    Once Upon a Time is a pretty big fandom which is basically 99% filled with pairing fics that are cheesy, fluffy and borderline porn at times.

    However while this fic is a EmmaRegina pairing fic, the romance aspect is a subtle thing that is slowly built up in the background of what is a very fun/epic fantasy adventure plot.

    The overall focus of the story is really about Regina's character development and redemption. It is paced well, with her generally remaining cruel, selfish and callous for most of the first book, but very slowly changing with events and camaraderie. Her slowly growing romance with Emma is one of the foils for this change, but it's also heavily driven off her interactions with a very large cast of interesting, badass and fun characters. There isn't any over the top sexual tension or conflicted internal arguments with inner voices that you might get in a story like this - it's nicely subtle for a change.

    The story takes you through a journey of exploring the fantasy world, events and characters. It almost reminded me of Dresden Files in the way it took well known fairy tale characters or events and made them absolutely epic or dark. For example, this series of paragraphs describing Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz:

    This woman had no magicks. The power that Regina or Emma had was not in her purview. She had only those sparkling slippers on her feet. She was Regina’s own height, but with skin nearly as dark as her black hair, which was divided into a multitude of microbraids and pulled back into a loose ponytail. Her brown eyes were sharp, focused, and unnerving. The eyes of a hero born for the stuff and never failing to see every little detail of the chaos surrounding her.

    This was a woman she’d only heard tales of—and even those tales spoke of her as a child—not a woman—not an adult. A child who changed the course of an entire land. Shifted the balance of power in Oz forever and put the Princess Ozma on the throne.

    The Queenmaker from Kansas. The overthrower of tyrants.

    Dorothy Gale.
    The writing is high quality and a great example of an interesting narrative focused on exploring a character's thoughts and reactions as a way to describe events. There wasn't a single paragraph I really found boring to read and it uses some fun writing techniques to give scenes energy and impact.


    Book 1 - very well structured, great character development and a really interesting plot 5/5

    Book 2 - a series of side stories/fillers to help bridge the timeskip between book 2 and 3. They're hella fun with an almost One Piece type feel 5/5

    Book 3 - story sort of went a bit weird here, but was still pretty good. There were some fantastic scenes to counteract some of the more questionable ones. 4/5

    Book 4 - while still having some really fun scenes and events, I have no idea what this book was even really about. It felt unstructured and didn't really have a purpose. 3/5

    Overall - I know this isn't a fandom that DLPers tend to be involved in, but I highly recommend giving this story a go anyway. 4.5/5
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017
  2. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage ~ Prestige ~

    Aug 9, 2009
    Department of Post-Mortem Communications
    High Score:
    Can second this. From beginning to end, it was a great read. An entertaining adventure that made sure to not whitewash any character into a contrived redemption or made them super nice. The character traits that we would align with the fairy tale characters are there, unlike a lot of the fandom.

    The adventures themselves are a lot of fun. It has this old school adventure feel to it where challenges are solved with interesting plans, cool magic and awesome character interaction.

    But as Jarik said, the best part of this is its writing. It sucks you right it and doesn't really let you go.

    Being on AO3 the structure is a bit weird. It's split in 4 books but the second book is more a collection of events that happened during the time skip and it doesn't seem finished. They are tons of fun though.

    As a defense to book 4, it's unfinished and I'm reasonably certain that if the author were to pick it up again, that they would bring it to a reasonable conclusion and tie things up.

    Unfortunately, it has been a while since the last update but stories have come back from bigger absences so here's to hoping.

    So yeah, really loved this. 4.5/5
  3. Zill

    Zill First Year

    Nov 30, 2010
    I have read this previously and I've been actually waffling on recommending this myself as Once Upon a Time isn't DLP's usual fair, so thanks for doing it. I agree in general regarding the Once Upon a Time fandom. There's a lot of stuff that I like and think is good as a Swan Queen fan, but, significantly less that I would be willing to make a general recommendation for. However, The Monomythical Adventures of Regina Mills and Emma Swan is one such fic/series.

    In general across the whole series I really like the effort that went in to fleshing out the world. Especially the inclusion of various myths and less popular fairy tales that aren't just Disney's latest hot property.

    As Jarik said, this series is primarily focused on Regina's quest. I think that setting up Regina, Aurora, Mulan and Hook as the four thieves was a brilliant choice. I really like that it gives Regina strong ties outside of Henry/Emma/The Charmings. It is something that I don't see a lot in the OUaT fic that I read that so I'm 100% down with that. Maggiemerc also writes the friendship between the four really well. They have that easy camaraderie and I can totally believe that they have been traveling together and having various adventures for two years straight. Also, the stuff that was hinted at occurring during their quest to get back to Storybrooke was pretty neat.

    Regarding Toxic is the Unyielding Love, I thought that future dystopian steampunk Storybrooke was a pretty cool setting. One of my favourite thing about this book was how Regina has to try and fit back in to her life. She's been gone for ten years instead of expected two and everything has changed. Henry grew up without her for nearly half of his life, was now adult and married. Emma has put her on a pedestal in her mind and has issues because of her uncontrollable magic. The bits of her dealing with that were really nice. We get some similar stuff in Dangerous is the Vexed God with Regina being the only person who remembers Future!Storybrooke and everyone else having to deal with that.

    Take this with a grain of salt, but, regarding Dangerous is the Vexed God part of the reason for any confusion could be the because as I understand it, it was supposed to be an absolute monster of a fic. I think at some point the author mentioned that she was thinking about splitting it up into multiple books because of the size. From what I remember Dangerous is the Vexed God hadn't really gotten that far in the overall storyline that was hinted at before it stopped updating.

    I do hope that the series will start updating again at some especially with how the last chapter of Dangerous is the Vexed God left off.

    Future!Dorothy showing up in present Storybrooke. I can't see any way that this won't be amazing.

    Also as an aside there is a minor typo in the pairing section it should be Regina Mills not Regina Milla.

    Now I have to go reread this.

    4.5/5 from me.
  4. Dark Syaoran

    Dark Syaoran Golden Patronus Admin

    Jun 4, 2005
    Anyone else read this and willing to give a review?