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

This excellent but harrowing story has Ares exacting a particularly cruel vengeance on the Warrior Princess as he gives an evil thug and his men the power to overwhelm Xena...and torture her in his name. It is up to the bard of Potidaea to try to save her friend after this and in so doing teach the God of War a lesson about love and courage. This is a very moving, emotional story but it is also in parts excrutiating. NOTE that the story depicts scenes of extreme violence. - 17 pgs., 1/97

**ORIGINS by M. Parnell -- [Alt]
I cannot BEGIN to tell you how FANTASTIC this story is!!!! With each new chapter you will be more amazed, more on the edge of your seat, more enthralled than ever before. This is writing at ITS BEST! ORIGINS simply put is a masterpiece - and I'm not just referring to a good fan fiction tale here - this novel easily stands out among the best commercial fiction I've ever read as well. If the decision is ever made to make a XWP feature film - THIS should be it. The story begins as a personal quest of Xena's to discover the truth about her father. Before it is over the lives of countless will be changed, the future of a kingdom and possibly the whole of Greece will be decided, a new type of government will be born whose influence will reach through the ages, and the fates of a warrior and a bard will be forever altered. The final installments in Parnell's saga are a tour-de-force as all the players in this intricate tapestry of a story finally come together to witness in all her glory the wonder and the terror that is Xena of Amphipolis - a warrior princess reborn. Throughout the story Xena faces some of the toughest challenges of her life with none perhaps tougher than the battle against the longing in her heart for a certain green-eyed bard. Refusing to face the pain and fear the bard stirs deep within her, Xena immerses herself in what she knows best - the quest for power, the quest to conquer the hearts of men, the quest to conquer the soul of a city and the loyalty of an army. The Xena that emerges is a riddle to her enemies and friends alike as they struggle to understand the incredible events unfolding before their eyes, not sure whether to fear the warrior or admire the woman. Motivated by a love that will not die, only one dares to challenge the veil of secrecy in which Xena cloaks herself, determined to understand what is driving the Warrior Princess and toward what outcome she is headed. It is a quest which will reveal the true origins of what Xena is and all that her life has been as she accepts her role in finally bringing to an end a drama started long ago when immortals touched the lives of the warriors whose blood now runs through her veins. Parnell's depiction of the Xena/Gab relationship and the characterizations themselves in this novel are simply phenomenal - very deep, very psychological. The plot is among the most complicated you will ever read but so well-structured and so "tight" that it remains clear, with each chapter just drawing you into the next. One of the most intriguing aspects of Parnell's style is that she gives NOTHING away. This is one tale where the mysteries and the true motivations of the various characters aren't revealed 'til the very end. In XWP fan fiction ORIGINS is the ultimate experience. If you haven't guessed by now this story is a MUST READ! and carries my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!!! [See the sequel TARTARUS] - 362 pgs., 4/3/97.

ROPE TRICK by M. Parnell
Parnell's latest, like her previous XWP stories, is a marvelously entertaining and VERY well written tale - this one featuring a HIGHLY unlikely alliance. While Gabrielle goes to visit a friend, Xena heads off on her own planning to send Solan some items when she gets to a nearby town. Her plans are rudely interrupted, however, when she's waylaid by Callisto herself - mysteriously now no longer a god but still deadly dangerous and determined as ever to torture the Warrior Princess. Ironically for the blonde warlord, her plans don't exactly work out either and soon both adversaries find themselves badly injured with only each other to depend on for survival. Parnell is particularly adept at depicting the now infamous mind games that are Callisto's trademark. - 33 pgs., 3/97

**WOMAN CALLED ALIKA (A) by M. Parnell
When you finish this story you will likely sit in stunned amazement for a while. As we have come to expect from works by M. Parnell, the writing is excellent but beyond that the depth this story brings to XWP fan fiction really raises the genre to a whole new level. This is a dark story that looks at the cruelty of the human soul and the injustices it is capable of inflicting under the guise of righteousness. As it begins, Xena is telling Gabrielle of a place near where they're traveling called The Vale - a place she never attacked during her years of pilaging - a place which to this day gives the proud warrior "the creeps." Little does Xena suspect that her destiny will bring her to The Vale and that in that place the Warrior Princess will be lost. Prepare yourself for a VERY different characterization of our heroine. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 66 pgs., 5/9/97

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