Bel-Wah (Belle Reilly)
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Last modified: November 03 2012 12:33:02

Please make sure to read the EXPLANATORY NOTES before reading these reviews.

Alternative stories are designated as such with an [Alt] at the end of the title line.

This file features reviews of stories written by Bel-wah. For any other fiction by this bard please visit any of the Xena fan fiction indexes.

For reviews of the author's commercial fiction check the Reviews Of Commercial Fiction.

APPRENTICE (THE) by Bel-wah -- [Alt]
A very nicely written second effort by an author that is quickly making an impression in XWP fanfic, this tale has the Warrior and bard meeting an old acquaintance of Xena's now traveling with a young man supposedly seeking justice for the wrongs done to him years before. After deciding to help, Xena and Gabrielle must then try to understand the enigma that is the young apprentice while searching for the truth behind his strange relationship with Xena's friend. Bel-wah presents us with a solid treatment of the Xena/Gab partnership in a story about mistakes and second chances. Blending clever humor with a very heartfelt, gentle love, this is a thoughtful tale you'll want to put on your MUST READ list. DO NOT MISS! - 21 pgs., 11/10/98
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

BEFORE MY EYES by Bel-Wah -- [Alt]
The latest entry in the GABRIELLE'S SCROLLS SERIES Bel-Wah's latest reads very much like a clip show with the Bard of Poteidaia remembering her times with Xena as she prepares for the ultimate sacrifice. Nice writing featuring some poignant moments - 5 pgs., 12/3/98
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

**CONSTANT HEART (THE) by Bel-wah -- [Alt]
This bard just keeps sharing with us one impressive tale after another with this one possibly being the best one to date! This is a splendid, almost mystical story-within-a-story that begins with a frustrated bard having to wait for Xena while the warrior goes to fight in a war. Alone by a campfire the bard is visited by an unusually friendly deer whose presence inspires her to write a story about valor and sacrifice and a love so great it could transcend even death itself. It is a story that suddenly starts to seem all to real for her when she experiences an unexpected loss and soon finds herself dreading the mere probability of another even greater one. Bel-wah presents us here with a beautifully written tale that in parts reads very much like a Greek myth. Heart-breaking and reaffirming all at once, this is an outstanding effort that comes VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! [This is parchment five in the GABRIELLE'S SCROLLS SERIES] - 13 pgs., 11/17/98
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

**CUSTOMER (THE) by Bel-Wah
A powerful new tale about an old soldier turned keeper of the dead, a "customer" determined not to cooperate, and a love strong enough to even thwart death itself. Bel-Wah combines excellent writing here with a masterful use of shifting point-of-views to give us a riveting look at the horrors of war, the struggles of those who become part of it, and the fortitude of the human spirit as it grasps for the one thing that will one day see it beyond the confines of a physical shell. An exceptional MUST READ that comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! [some subtext in this. See the follow-up A XENA SCROLL] - 12 pgs., 12/2/8/98
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

This gifted writer brings us the first part of an action-packed uber story set in the present day and featuring an incredibly timely storyline. Bel_Wah's latest begins in the Big Apple as all the principals are gathering together. On one side of town, Captain Catherine Phillips rushes to grab a taxi on her way to the airport and the passenger airliner she'll be piloting on its way to Rome. Termed by some of her co-workers as "Frosty the snow-bitch" but known by others as an intelligent, no-nonsense professional, the beautiful Air Force veteran has come to a crossroads in her life. No longer fulfilled by her job, she carries a letter of resignation fully intending for the trip to Rome to be her last in the employ of Orbis Airlines. On another side of town a van also rushes to the airport carrying the Orbis crew members who will be servicing that flight. The youngest among them, Rebecca Hanson, is a dedicated flight attendant who's worked her way quickly up the ranks through hard work and determination. Looking forward to the layover in Rome, Becky nevertheless feels the nerves upon hearing she'll be working with the infamous Captain Phillips. All too soon she's meeting the woman and not under...ideal circumstances. The third group of players are the final ones to arrive - fiercely loyal to a homeland torn apart by war, the Albanian nationals board the flight to Rome under false identities, determined that before the night is over they will have set in motion a plan to force the hand of the world's greatest superpower - caring little for the fellow passengers whose lives they're about to change and fully prepared to sacrifice those lives for their desperate cause. In this final part Catherine struggles to land her crippled plane. Reminiscent of those emotional airport thrillers which have always been a popular draw - comes an ideal uber story with compelling, solid characterizations. Addressing a crisis we are seeing on our TV sets every day right now and coupled with a very distinct modern atmosphere, the story also offers a terrific timeliness. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! [See the alt. sequel ROMAN HOLIDAY] - 160 pgs., 4/14/99
AWARDS: "Constant Arousal" Swollen Bud Award (June 15, 2000)
FANFIC ART: Tragedy88 Story Cover
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

DÉNOUEMENT by Bel-wah - [Alt]
This insightful character piece set immediately after the episode WHEN FATES COLLIDE reveals the thoughts and feelings of both warrior and bard as they struggle to come to terms with the alternate time line they have just been subjected to and the agony of having nearly lost one another. Featuring sections with each character's perspectives, Bel-wah's latest is a well-written, effective look at the intensity of emotions awakened by Caesar's ill-fated plan. - 5 pgs., 6/4/01
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

**FOR WANT OF A NAIL by Bel-Wah -- [Alt]
This gifted writer brings us a gripping story about choices and consequences that begins innocently enough with a bard and a reluctant warrior on their way to a festival. Proud of Xena and anxious for her to have a good time, Gabrielle pushes the warrior to become more and more involved in the festivities never suspecting what her playful prodding will lead to or the fateful decision she'll soon have to make. Revolving around one of the series' major themes, this tale features a particularly compelling characterization of the bard as she and her soulmate are once again challenged by the darkness in the human heart and the realities of life in a violent world. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 19 pgs., 1/15/99
FANFIC ART: Ciegra Story Cover - Not currently available on the Web
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

HOW THIN THE VEIL by Bel-Wah - [Alt]
Gripping, shocking and poignant all at once, Bel-wah's latest is a riveting warlord/slave story that picks up the exploits of the feared Warrior Princess just before she and her army decimate the town of Poteidaia collecting a new batch of slaves among them one young farm girl whose defiant emerald gaze soon draws the attention of her new master. Determined to exercise her power over the slave, Xena soon finds herself rationalizing decisions that seem to be favoring the Poteidaian instead - seeing those green eyes in her thoughts and wanting desperately to protect her against the life she herself can't seem to escape. Painting a very harsh but also sympathetic picture of Xena, Bel-Wah will have you running an emotional gamut throughout this right along with the Warrior Princess. DO NOT MISS! - 14 pgs., 10/17/99
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

In homage to Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and his classic "Idylls of the King", Bel-wah brings us a re-telling of the Xena story which will recall in form also heroic Greek classics like THE ILLIAD and THE ODYSSEY. Unusual and nicely executed. - 6 pgs., 4/29/99
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

Set in Turkey in 1940, this is an entertaining Mel/Janice adventure that has the archeologist and her partner searching for the lost treasure of Helen of Troy as they deal with the usual pressure from local authorities and the dangers of a world at war. What they discover proves much more valuable than any treasure as friendship and determination motivate them to challenge the odds and trust in the strength they inspire in one another. Bel-Wah does a good job in the depiction of these characters contrasting Janice's gruff, troubled demeanor with a Melinda possessed of a sensitivity capable of seeing past that rough exterior. A solid read. [Note: some subtext in this.] - 35 pgs., 2/27/00
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

**ONE THAT GOT AWAY (THE) by Bel-Wah -- [Alt]
Sensitively told, poignant tale that begins with a vacation of sorts for warrior and bard as Xena finds herself having too much fun by a favorite fishing spot to consider moving on any time soon. That happens to be fine with her partner who is dead set on catching a fish and doing it her way. Before long, however, the two have more than fishing to worry about when they find themselves with a visitor - a little runaway named Pip who's determined to honor his dead brother's memory by becoming a warrior just like him. For Xena the boy stirs both painful memories and an acute feeling of deja-vu, recalling the fair-head son she had so little time with and recalling also the anger of a young woman who long ago embraced darkness after the death of her brother. Bel-Wah paints a very likeable and deeply sympathetic picture of the Warrior Princess here as she struggles to save another from the mistakes that forever changed her. Complementing her, the bard is funny and supportive in a tale that is entertaining and ultimately very satisfying. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 16 pgs., 2/16/99
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

A beautifully written story reflecting all the themes around which this TV series was originally constructed. Set sometime after the third season, the story has Gabrielle reflecting on her travels with Xena, recalling the time, in the aftermath of a slaughter, when she first witnessed the murderous gleam in her partner's eyes. Remembering as well her first glimpses of the tenderness and compassion also present in that warrior heart. More than three years later, the warrior and bard come full circle as an elusive prey falls within reach and an ex-warlord remembers the sins of the past. Presented from Gabrielle's viewpoint, the story is extraordinarily effective, revealing both the bard's devotion and the warrior's redeeming nobility. There's a terrific sense of love and commitment in Bel-wah's interpretation of this partnership. A MUST READ! VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! [Note: This is the second installment in the GABRIELLE'S SCROLLS SERIES] - 10 pgs., 10/29/98
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

**ROMAN HOLIDAY by Bel-Wah -- [Alt]
A sequel to Bel-Wah's action-adventure DARKNESS BEFORE THE DAWN, this new story finds Captain Catherine Phillips agreeing to spend a few days in Rome to watch over her recovering flight attendant, Rebecca Hanson. Feeling responsible for the young woman, Kate plans on an ordinary couple of days keeping Becky company but to their mutual surprise, the stay in the Eternal City soon becomes a magical holiday drawing two souls together and pulling down walls that have been in place for much too long. Featuring strong characterizations with two very likeable leads, Bel-Wah's latest also offers that air of excitement, magic and romance that was a part of the classic movie which shares its title. A delightful read to follow in the weeks ahead. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! [See the sequel STORM FRONT] - 209 pgs., 5/11/99
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

Gabrielle's day of reckoning is at hand in a gripping tale that begins with Xena and the bard finding a villager in need of help on the road. They're puzzled by his almost paralyzing fear of them - confused even further when they arrive at the village of Badrias. The entire town looks upon them with terror and hatred, but unlike other such instances, this time it isn't the Warrior Princess that's inspiring those feelings... Bel-Wah sketches a well-thought out plot here that could actually be the basis of a terrific episode. Solid characterizations, along with some humor and suspenseful moments combine to make for a great read! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 25 pgs., 12/1/98
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

A snapshot of the life of the Warrior Princess in her most ruthless days, Bel-Wah's latest has Xena and Borias occupying a conquered village for a few days as Xena plays a very different type of Solomon and Borias shows his heart to a woman not ready to see love as anything but a weakness. Well in keeping with the TV characterizations, this story evokes both contempt and pity for the Xena that was. - 6 pgs., 1/20/99
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

STORM FRONT by Bel-wah - [Alt]
The latest in the series begun with DARKNESS BEFORE THE DAWN and followed by ROMAN HOLIDAY, this third entry continues the story of Captain Catherine Phillips and flight attendant, Rebecca Hanson as the two enter new periods in their lives. Retired from her former job as an airline pilot, Catherine is now in charge of a new unit at Orbis airlines dedicated to tracking and preventing terrorist activity. It's a stressful, often frustrating job made easier by the knowledge that her apartment is no longer the lonely place it once was for sharing it with her is now the beautiful young woman who first began to change her life in Rome. As the two work to merge their lives other challenges will await them including the mandate to stop a terrorist willing to sacrifice it all for the sake of his deadly agenda. With an edge-of-your-seat opening chapter, this is a well-written, solid offering with terrific potential. - 165 pgs., 7/26/99
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

TIME SLIP by Bel-wah
Spooky little tale set in a dark forest that has the Warrior Princess and bard meeting a young woman desperate to see the love of her life and being kept from him by something very determined... and very inhuman. Good story for one of those rainy evenings ;-) - 10 pgs., 11/2/98
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

**XENA SCROLL (A) by Bel-Wah
Coming on the heels of Bel-Wah's THE CUSTOMER, this tale continues the story begun there as a recuperating Xena waits for her bard to return with dinner. The object of much mothering since her recent injury, the impatient warrior is anxious for things to return back to normal but touched nevertheless by her partner's loving concern. To pass the time she finds herself reading scrolls about a hero that's larger than life, realizing in the process just how mightier than a sword the quill can be, and wishing she could tell the world about the other gentle hero those scrolls never speak about... Bel-Wah has a wonderful way of enriching her characterizations by allowing us to see through the eyes of her characters. Her fiction, and this latest offering in particular, tell a heartwarming story of devotion and friendship. Another MUST READ from this talented writer. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 3 pgs., 1/2/99
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

WAITING (THE) by Bel-wah - [Alt]
The bard studies the Warrior Princess and contemplates the dynamics of their relationship as she accompanies Xena back to a place with less-than-happy memories where an old friend lies dying. This is a nicely-written character piece with a melancholic feel to it. - 8 pgs., 7/4/99
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

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