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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 Jim. For any other fiction by this bard please visit any of the Xena fan fiction indexes.

**HIGH PASS (THE) by Jim
In the grand tradition of such fanfic classics like Rebekah's ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT and L. Fox's A BARD'S FAITH, comes this EXTRAORDINARY hurt/comfort story of survival, perseverance and a friendship for the ages. On their way back to Greece from the Carphatian mountains where Xena has just spent a summer vanquishing the blood-drinkers threatening the area, the warrior and bard are in good spirits - looking forward to using the money they've earned to perhaps settle down a bit upon their return home. It's a dream which flies from their grasp just as quickly as most of their possessions do when an accident leaves them nearly destitute in a land ravaged by famine and desperation. With their usual determination the two set out to try to survive their journey as best they can, eating the occasional scraps they can buy with the meager earnings Gabrielle's storytelling provides. All the while Xena is in a very personal struggle of her own - torn between staying true to the uncompromising faith Gabrielle has in her or selling her soul to ensure their survival...and breaking the bard's heart in the process. In his debut as a fanfic writer, Jim delivers a treatment of the relationship that will have you falling in love with these two characters all over again - falling in love with their strength of spirit in the darkest of hours - falling in love with their courage and most of all - falling in love with the devotion of two soulmates committed beyond reason to one another. Jim also does a terrific job addressing some of the many loose ends from the TV series, never shying away from the more difficult memories shared by these two women. The story is cleverly written using an omniscient narrator that adds some interesting commentary about the harsher aspects of life in general and the sometimes futile struggles of the human condition. A gut-wrenching, angst-filled, emotional tour-de-force this is the type of contribution that continues to make Xena fanfic the creme-della-creme on the Net. It gets my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION! [Note: story includes some subtext] - 30 pgs., 3/28/00
AWARDS: "First Timer" Swollen Bud Award (Aug. 15, 2000)
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

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