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Title: The Frozen Heart + The Travelling Stable Boy (Melt the Ice Remix)
Fandom: due South
Pairing: Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski (with Fraser/Various and Kowalski/Various)
Categories: Fairy Tale, AU, Drama, Romance
Length: Medium (2,169 + 1,370 words)
Warnings: n/a

Author on LJ: shayheyred ; doll_revolution
Author Website: faviconShayheyred

Author's Summaries:
The Frozen Heart: A fable of love, loss and a lifelong quest. Fraser is seeking for the key to unlock his frozen heart.
The Travelling Stable Boy: Sometimes it’s the key who is looking for a lock.

Review:
Recently, I was discussing remixes with my husband. We were discussing how someone can take an idea that's been used before and make it new and original. He was familiar with music remixes, but not in fiction, and wanted some examples. This duo of stories jumped to my mind, and it reminded me of how much I love them.

The first story is a meshing of Due South and The Snow Queen into a story and fable of its own. It has this feeling of being old and new at once, and cleverly it's almost not an AU, but the story of the show told in the verse of a fairytale. The writing has a depth and beauty, one of those stories that seems to expand past its actual size and take on a larger life of it's own. The repetition (with difference) of the wolf's exhortation to keep looking builds into something large and intense, and you ache for the man that's so alone and seeking.

The second fic dovetails perfectly with it, telling the story of a different character. Where The Frozen Heart has a metaphorical lyricism, The Travelling Stableboy is more down-to-earth tone, matching it's first person POV character, Kowalski. The stories don't quite match up in the tiny details of his meeting with Fraser, but that makes it feel more real somehow, with a sort of Rashomon effect, where of course the story would be slightly different from a different perspective. Or maybe it's that The Travelling Stableboy is the concrete tale of a man's life, and The Frozen Heart is that other man's tale told in symbols.

Even if you're not a due South fan, you can enjoy this story duo; they both can be read as original fiction, and knowledge of the canon only enhances the stories as you glimpse story regulars Diefenbaker, Victoria Metcalf, Margaret Thatcher, Stella, etc. Mostly it's the genuine emotion conveyed that get to me, and I find both fics beautiful.

Back to my story about my husband. I read these out loud to him, and he was completely immersed. As the wolf kept saying that Fraser had to continue seeking for the key to his heart, it brought tears to his eyes. And when I read the second story, I didn't inform him of the title, and when he realized who the POV character was (from the first story) he gasped with excitement, saying "It's the stableboy!" We both enjoyed the stories together, and had a great conversation about storytelling.

In the land of the North there lived a boy who dwelt with his mother in a house made of snow. He was a brave young man, and bold, and bonny, and he spent his time in books, and strolling through the forest. Though he was often alone, he was content.


The Frozen Heart (AO3) (LJ) (Author's site)
The Travelling Stable Boy (Melt the Ice Remix)

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
andeincascade
Aug. 9th, 2012 12:35 pm (UTC)
doll_revolution 's LJ is right here.
jenna_marianne
Aug. 13th, 2012 03:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
shayheyred
Aug. 9th, 2012 06:40 pm (UTC)
Oh my. What a lovely review. I'm staggered that it had such an effect on the your husband. Thank you so much for reccing my story, and doll's magnificent remix of it.
jenna_marianne
Aug. 13th, 2012 03:45 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked the rec!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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