XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS - ALTERNATIVE FAN
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Last modified: November 03 2012 12:33:13
Please make sure to read the EXPLANATORY NOTES before reading these reviews.
**IF...THIS HAD BEEN THE BEGINNING by Planet-solin
Nothing satisfies that fanfic addiction quite like a good Conqueror tale and guys - this one is FABULOUS! In a departure from the more traditional Conqueror tales which usually have Xena and Gabrielle in an adversarial role following the canon established by the ARMAGEDDON Hercules episode that introduced this alternate reality, Planet-solin's story has the two becoming unlikely friends early on. An independent young woman determined to make her own way in the world, Gabrielle has cultivated a strong reputation as a talented storyteller traveling the countryside and earning the respect even of the Conqueror's own troops. Despite the relative peace the Conqueror's rule has enforced, however, life on the road can be a very dangerous place as the bard comes to learn one fateful day when she draws the attention of several ruffians. To her great relief, a stranger saves the day - a tall, beautiful warrior with eyes like blue steel whom Gabrielle is immediately drawn to and with whom she soon finds herself sharing frank opinions about the ruler of the land and the state of affairs in the Conqueror's realm. Having saved the girl while on her way to visit some of her troops, the Conqueror is both intrigued and unsettled by the young bard, knowing she should be outraged by some of the things Gabrielle is saying but feeling instead utterly charmed and surprisingly challenged by the insightful arguments. Reluctant to see any harm come to the young woman the Conqueror shadows her as Gabrielle goes on her way but in the days and weeks to come their paths will cross again as they continue to seek one another out - sensing a connection that transcends the impossibilities of a friendship between them and drawing the attention of those waiting to exploit whatever vulnerability surfaces in the life of the feared Destroyer of Nations. Planet-solin has drawn here two of the most compelling characterizations of Xena and Gabrielle in the alternate Conqueror time line I've ever come across. The Conqueror here is not a monster. She's an incredibly focused, driven warrior who's survived and built an empire by cultivating a fearsome reputation but underneath that cold exterior remains a yearning for the one thing power and wealth and victory have never brought her - a true friend. Gabrielle is an independent spirit with uncanny insight despite her innocence and an admirable drive to pursue her dreams no matter the odds. The relationship these two nurture is electric and sweet, funny and poignant, passionate and decidedly romantic. The first part of a planned trilogy, this tale establishes an engrossing premise guaranteed to keep you reading 'til the WEEEEEE hours if you start it late so plan accordingly :) A MUST READ, this gets my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION! [See the sequel HOME AGAIN] - 80 pgs., 6/13/00
IF THOU LOVEST ME by Nene Adams
A harrowing tale of determination, endurance and unparalleled love which has Gabrielle dying and a desperate Xena traveling to the Underworld prepared to get her bard back at any cost. In parts Nene's narrative has an almost poetic style to it. [Part of the CHAMBER OF HORRORS SERIES] - 12 pgs., 4/18/98
IF WISHES WERE HORSES by Heather
Long and well-written, Heather's first-ever fanfic offering is an engrossing, epic adventure chronicling a time of change for Xena and Gabrielle against a backdrop of intrigue, deceit, despair and newfound hope. As the story begins, the warrior and bard set out to help an imprisoned Autolycus by going after the warlord who's kidnapped the thief's wife and is forcing him to take the blame for the theft of a rare diamond. It's a mission that will bring Xena face to face with a familiar figure from her past just as her and Gabrielle are getting ready to craft a new future together. It's a mission also that will have the gods once again meddling into the lives of these two women, first pulling them together and then driving them apart in a cruel game of deception that will span continents, cost lives, break hearts and endanger everything warrior and bard have worked so hard to build together. Heather offers a good treatment of the relationship here - developing it a sensible pace. She also effectively incorporates into her plot elements of the TV episodes making the storyline fit nicely with Xena canon. A solid, entertaining contribution. - 110 pgs., 3/15/00
IF YOU LOVE SOMETHING by T. Novan
Heart wrenching entry in the RAISING MELOSA SERIES which finds Xena at a loss when her oldest daughter discovers the truth of her heritage and suddenly wants nothing to do with the warrior. - 5 pgs., 2/23/99
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]
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