LUNACY'S FAN FICTION REVIEWS
HALLOWEEN FICTION REVIEWS (A-F)
Reviewer can be reached at lunacy@lunacyreviews.com
Last modified: November 03 2012 12:33:13

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

The following are reviews of fanfic and original fiction set during the Halloween period or having a Halloween "feel". The majority of reviews are for Xena and uber-Xena stories. These tales feature vampires, and ghosts, and monsters and other things that go bump in the night (aside from the warrior and bard ;-) Note, however, that they are not all necessarily scary. There are some very creepy offerings, some downright terrifying ones in fact, but there are also some beautifully emotional tales of haunted souls, the power of love to conquer even death and the magic which resides in the human heart itself.

The Ancient Greeks did not celebrate Halloween as we know it but as presented in these stories they did sometimes get...in the spirit. BWWUUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! >:-)

For more information on the types of festivals and holidays which the Ancient Greeks did celebrate take a look at these links:

This is a combined file of both general and alternative fiction reviews. The alternative stories are designated as such with an [Alt] at the end of the title line.

Stories marked with a CAT are ones that I've found particularly creepy.

**IMPORTANT NOTE - Some of the reviews below include crosslinks to reviews in other sections. If after reading one of those crosslinked reviews you want to get back to the Halloween index make sure to hit the BACK button on your browser or just go to the bottom of the page your on and select the appropriate link under Holiday Tales.

Halloween:   A-F   G-R   S-Z         Solstice         Thanksgiving

**ABNORMAL FEAR OF EIGHTS (AN) by Ukki
This was very possibly one of the most DIFFICULT reading experiences I've ever had considering that I *myself* suffer from "an abnormal fear of eights" 8-| This story, however, will just charm the HECK out of you. One of the cutest I've read in a long time with the feel of real Greek myth. As our little tale begins Xena has to go on a mission to try to get some medicine for the niece of King Gregor who was bitten by a spider. On her own Gabrielle heads for a nearby town where she soon finds herself facing one of her greatest fears and in a race against time to try to save hundreds of innocent souls. This is fresh new material for XWP fan fiction. A delightful, clever story which revolves nicely around the bard. It does carry a WARNING for any Xenite who's afraid of spiders - PROCEED WITH CAUTION! It's a great read though folks. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 14 pgs., 12/14/97
http://xenafan.com/fiction/content2/eightfear.html

**ALABASTER HAND (THE) by Nene Adams - [Alt]
A wonderful Halloween treat, this new entry in Nene's much-loved GASLIGHT SERIES finds Lina and Rhiannon attending a friend's Halloween dinner party when the hostesses horrifying story of ancient Egyptian curses and murder starts to become all too true. Faced with an increasing body count, Lina and Rhiannon must try to get as much information as they can from some very nervous dinner guests aware that their culprit might not be an ancient evil but one made of flesh and bone. Nene as usual gives us here a fictional feast - a story with all the right ingredients - a good mystery, lavish descriptions, wonderfully developed characterizations, a fabulously entertaining combination of uber characters with literary ones and even some real-life personalities. A terrific read for some spooky, rainy night or anytime you're in the mood for some quality storytelling. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 27 pgs., 11/10/01
http://www.corrieweb.nl/gaslight/alabaster1.htm

**ALL I EVER WANTED WAS YOU by Nene Adams - [Alt]
Nene adds yet another terrific tale to her CHAMBER OF HORRORS SERIES with an eerie yet poignant story about unrequited love, madness, guilt and revenge. On their way to an Amazon ceremony, Xena and the bard have to go through the kingdom of Attalos - a territory which holds very bad memories for the Warrior Princess. Concerned by her partner's increasingly troubling nightmares and erratic behavior, the bard decides to do a little investigating eventually learning the truth about a brutal episode from Xena's past and uncovering the deadly obsession now threatening them both because of it. Another first-class offering from one of our finest - well-written with a riveting plot solidly grounded on the strength of the Xena/Gab relationship. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 16 pgs., 2/23/99
http://www.corrieweb.nl/chamber/allieverwanted.htm

**ALL SOUL'S NIGHT by Joseph Connell - [Alt]
This story is one of the best entries to date in Katrina's BLOOD AND ROSES SERIES. Set in the present day, it directly follows the story begun in Katrina's THE FONDER HEART. With the former streetwalker named Xena now firmly entrenched in her life, Gabrielle is still amazed at the young woman's resemblance to the warrior who owned her heart for so long. It is a resemblance that goes beyond the physical and stirs an aching familiarity within the daughter of Bacchus. Xena, meanwhile, is trying to adjust to her new life - confident in her love for Gabrielle but uncertain about a past she can't seem to completely remember and nightmares that are haunting her. Unbeknownst to the two of them, the forces of evil are at work on a plan to destroy the bard as the daughter of Ares was once destroyed herself. In the shadows, however, a protector lies unseen, watching and waiting for their time of need...sensing too that perhaps the ancient warrior long thought dead has never truly been gone. This is a wonderfully sophisticated, stirring, passionate, suspenseful story featuring a fresh storyline, great writing, and really outstanding characterizations. Chapter 17 of the story is now available. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! [Note: This story features EXTREME violence. Please make sure to read the author's disclaimers] - 117 pgs., 2/23/98
http://bearblue.150m.com/library2/1990s/STO/brose/soul/soul.html
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

**ASPEN'S CHILD by Culprit  Save Alert
Culprit's first XWP story is a haunting, BEAUTIFUL story certain to stir the soul. Camping in an ancient forest, Xena and Gabrielle talk about the savage race of people, now long-dead, who used to live in the area. Unbeknownst to them, a stranger listens - a stranger who was a victim of the cruelty they speak of and who yearns for something lost long ago... This is poignant and extremely moving. NOT TO BE MISSED!! - 10 pgs., 1/13/98
http://www.ausxip.com/fanfiction/culprit/aspenschild.htm

**AZUMAYA - THE EASTERN HOUSE by Nene Adams - [Alt]
One of the most extraordinary aspects of Xena fandom has been seeing the number of incredibly talented writers this fandom has inspired and helped to nurture. In terms of originality, raw talent and absolutely gripping stories, one name that has long stood out is that of Nene Adams. Her newest story makes the reason for that abundantly clear. Nene sets her tale in the mythical Island of Wa - a place resembling feudal Japan with its rigid social structure and obsession with honor, duty, and power. Ichijo Ayumi is a member of the warrior class in this world - one of the many samurai whose sole purpose is to serve the masters who employ them. As a female from humble origins, however, she's a rarity who's had to struggle harder than others to prove herself deserving of the rank she's achieved so when her miserly lord decides he can no longer afford her Ayumi is devastated. Masterless samurai are spurned by the society she lives in - doomed to poverty unless they become bandits. Unbeknownst to the proud warrior, her fate is about to take yet another interesting turn. The lady Fujiwara no Kimiko is one of the most beautiful and intelligent aristocrats at the imperial court but at nineteen she's also impressionable, naive, and filled with very romantic notions of love. The object of her affections at the moment just happens to be a certain female samurai desperately in need of a master so upon learning of Ayumi-san's predicament, Kimiko hires her as a personal retainer. It's a decision that will have repercussions for them both, for others in positions of great power and for the empire itself as Kimiko and Ayumi soon find themselves trapped in a web of intrigue, fighting for their lives and coming face to face with an avenging force determined to extract a terrible justice on those who once wronged it. Nene's historical novels have always been exacting in their detail and that's again the case here resulting in a narrative that enlists all the readers' senses with rich descriptions intended to make her characters and the world they live in come alive. Tied as they are into the social norms of their ritualistic, feudal society, Kimiko and Ayumi are wonderfully original characters in their own right, but they have uber traits that should appeal to Xenite readers hungry for ubers. Particularly entertaining is the contrast between Kimiko's youthful exuberance and the warrior's HILARIOUS resignation to a less than ideal standing with the gods. They are joined by an impressive supporting cast consisting of very colorful, well-defined, consistent characters . The verbal and internal dialogues in this story are in a word - PRECIOUS. Nene expertly captures the flowery terminology often associated with the feudal Japanese culture, combining it with slightly more practical observations guaranteed to leave you in stitches. In addition to the humor, the story also touches upon serious themes of class differences, injustice and human cruelty adding surprising depth to sometimes deceptively simple situations. Finally, any review of a Nene Adam's story on the Web needs to make mention of the presentation through which this author makes expert use of graphics to create a true visual treat. The first in a series called KWAIDAN: SUPERNATURAL TALES OF THE FLOATING WORLD, this new offering from one of our master storytellers is a MUST READ folks! It gets my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION! - 199 pgs., 10/26/99
http://www.corrieweb.nl/japan/azumaya1.htm

**BACCHAE VERSUS VAMPIRE by Chris M - [Alt]
The latest offering in Katrina's BLOOD AND ROSES SERIES, this new story is a XWP/BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER crossover tale chronicling the first ever encounter between the Daughter of Bacchus and the ruthless bloodsuckers that thousands of years later would so consistently keep Buffy in business. Lying beside her partner in an ancient forest Gabrielle senses something amiss in the natural order of things - a darkness emanating from a creature she's never seen before - a creature who despite sharing her hunger for blood, exudes a cruelty and an irreverence for life that marks him as something very different from her, something... that must be stopped. Chris does a wonderful job giving this piece an eerie, mystical feel. The characterization of Gabrielle as the Daughter of Bacchus is on the money as is that of the bloodsuckers from the world of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. This is a terrific "origins" story detailing the first confrontation between two of the legendary foes in this BLOOD AND ROSES SERIES. DO NOT MISS! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 9 pgs., 12/14/98
http://bearblue.150m.com/library2/1990s/STO/brose/bvv.html

**BANSHEE'S WAIL (THE) by Nene Adams - [Alt]
After BLACK BY GASLIGHT and THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE, this third story in the GASLIGHT SERIES once again brings back one of the most popular and best-drawn incarnations of Xena and Gabrielle to be found in uber fan fiction, the ever-adventurous private investigator Lady Evangeline "Lina" St. Claire and her beloved partner Rhiannon Moore. Set in the late 19th century right after the events in Nene's previous tales, this new offering has Lina and Rhiannon heading for Scotland where they are to attend the reading of Rhiannon's late Great-Aunt Margaret's will. The affair seems simple enough until the two hear a strange tale about ghosts and murder which Lina soon begins to suspect may be connected to an even darker truth. This story is an absolutely DELIGHTFUL marriage between XWP alt. fiction and those great detective stories of old. Nene just keeps outdoing herself with each new story in this series. Her Lina and Rhiannon are two of the most colorful, clever and richly drawn characters I've seen in fiction ANYWHERE. As their relationship grows and deepens through the series it becomes even more enchanting! Nene notes at the end of this tale that if we want to see more, we are to write her. Well folks - I'm finishing this and starting my e-mail message right away because I want to see PLENTY more of Lina, Rhiannon and their extremely talented creator. This story carries my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!! - 63 pgs., 9/13/97
http://www.corrieweb.nl/gaslight/banshee1.htm

BETRAYAL (THE) by Danielle - [Alt]
Gripping tale that has Xena once again placing walls around her heart and pushing Gabrielle away in the process. Separated the two will come face to face with some deadly enemies from Xena's past - a flesh and bone adversary who intends to torture the warrior before killing her, and a mysterious figure who recognizes in the bard, Xena's greatest weakness. Haunting story which ultimately celebrates the healing power of love. - 32 pgs., 12/96
http://xenafan.com/fiction/content/betrayal.htm

**BITE ME by Katrina - [Alt]
The author describes this story as "wildly imaginative" and she's not kidding! Based on the events which took place in the episode GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN, this tale begins with Ares confronting Gabrielle over Xena's recent preoccupation with her. He is certain Xena's secret obsession with Gabrielle is hurting her skills as a warrior and could possibly get her killed so he simply wants the bard to give in to her own passions for the warrior. Ares knows the real reason Gabrielle fights against those passions - he knows the secret the bard has been hiding since the fateful meeting with Bacchus - a secret which shames her but which ironically may help her understand Xena better. For Xena's sake the two come to an understanding, never suspecting that the warrior will be taking control of the situation soon enough. Definitely unusual but well-written and original. DO NOT MISS! [Note: This is the first story in the BLOOD AND ROSES SERIES] - 10 pgs., 7/11/97
http://bearblue.150m.com/library2/1990s/STO/bite.html
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

**BLACK BY GASLIGHT by Nene Adams
[Story previously titled XENA BY GASLIGHT]
This is an Uber-Xena story based in the London of 1888 and featuring the first encounter between Lady Evangeline St. Claire ("Lina"), a tall, wealth beauty who lives by her own rules and the lovely Rhiannon Moore, streetwalker with a gentle heart who has faced much misfortune. Rhiannon's latest bad luck comes when she agrees to service a strange gentleman on a dark night - a fellow who will soon reveal his true deadly intentions but which in so doing, will ironically bring Lady Evangeline and Rhiannon into one another's lives, awakening feelings of familiarity and more within both women. Soon they are working together to try to stop a madman who walks at night - a killer the world will come to know as...Jack the Ripper. Nene brings a sense of realism to this story that is really stunning. She describes Victorian London - the clothing, the people, the nuances of the period with exacting detail. Even her dialogue is written to sound like the vernacular of the time. In "Lina" and Rhiannon she has created two characters that stand on their own while maintaining a strong connection to the warrior and bard from whom they are apparently descendants. This is a very well-written, suspenseful and different XWP story. It is the first entry in Nene's GASLIGHT SERIES. Note: PLEASE make sure to read the author's disclaimer as the story does contain graphic violence. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! [Make sure to also read the sequel THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE] - 110 pgs. 7/30/97
FANFIC ART:

"Lady Evangeline" by Barbara Maclay
"Rhiannon Moore" by Jeri Peterson
http://www.corrieweb.nl/gaslight/gaslight.htm

**BLACK MASTIFF (THE) by Keefer - [Alt]   CAT
This EXCELLENT new story is a very well-written mystery that could easily be an actual episode from the TV series. It has the warrior and bard on their way back to the town of Thellus where the villagers have requested their help in trying to solve a series of gruesome murders. In their search for answers, Xena will find herself once again having to face the sins of her past and turning to the bard who knows her so well in trying to deal with those. Keefer's characterizations in this are outstanding. His Xena and Gabrielle are two partners devoted to one another, playful with one another, starting to become aware of one another as more than just friends. The supporting cast is also well drawn with solid characters that complement the principals beautifully. Keefer combines a touch of humor with suspense and drama in a story that draws you in and will keep you anxiously hitting that page-down key 'til the very end. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! [Note: story is not explicit] - 40 pgs., 5/30/98
http://xenafan.com/fiction/content3/blackmastiff.html

**BLOOD AND ROSES SERIES - This series was begun by Katrina who then invited other authors to participate. Below are the stories I've reviewed in the series. For other stories and an explanation of the premise behind the series go directly to Katrina's BLOOD AND ROSES page. - [Alt]

**BITE ME by Katrina
**FONDER HEART (THE) by Katrina
**ALL SOUL'S NIGHT by Joseph Connell
**WHEN THE NIGHT CLOSES IN by Sharon Bowers
**TWILIGHT'S CHILDREN by Sharon Bowers
DARK PROMISE by Katrina
**BACCHAE VERSUS VAMPIRE by Chris M
**WHIFF OF BRIMSTONE (A) by Chris M
**BLOOD TIES by Ella Quince
**BARD OF AVON (THE) by Jennifer Bracanovich

**BLOOD MOON by John W. Woznack
John takes the basic premise of the story told in the GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN EPISODE and weaves it into a different, much more serious tale that in my opinion outdoes the TV episode by far. Terrific story. NOT TO BE MISSED! - 20 pgs., 12/96
http://www.concentric.net/~jwoznack/stories/bloodm_p.phpl

BREAKING THE ICE by Mary Morgan
Very unusual, skillfully written story set in a northern settlement where villagers are slowly starving to death while they're stalked by a mysterious assailant. Into this drama enter two strangers - a tall, dark warrior and her smaller blonde companion. For most of the worried settlers they are of passing interest, but for one of these they become an obsession - a promise of strength in one case and a focus for hatred in the other. This is a story about freedom lost, freedom regained and the healing power of hope. It features characterizations that build on one another resulting in well-defined characters and a very solid plot. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! - 18 pgs., 12/6/97
http://www.gabwhacker.com/xwp/quince/ice.html
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

**BURN by Zwolf
With some very dark, excellent stories already under his belt, Zwolf brings us a new tale which begins ominously with Xena and the bard crossing paths with a mysterious stranger - a beautiful and deadly warrior who Xena instantly recognizes as a kindred spirit and Gabrielle suspects may have a past as tortured as that of the Warrior Princess. Soon enough they'll learn just how dark that past was as the stranger's story unfolds and our two heroines find themselves immersed in a nightmare that could destroy their very souls. This is a riveting, intense thriller with several classic horror elements in a very original treatment. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 70 pgs., 5/10/98
http://pub14.ezboard.com/faggamemniasassortments2643golgotha.showMessage?topicID=117.topic

**CANDY OR CHAOS by CN Winters
It's Harvest Festival time in Poteidaia and one visiting bard is determined to introduced Xena to the many traditions of the season. Despite the uneasy relationship with Gabrielle's father, the warrior decides to make the effort and to her surprise is soon enjoying herself a lot more than she thought possible. The festivities become even more amusing when warrior and bard find themselves dealing with two unexpected little problems but as it turns out everyone ends up discovering a bit of the kid inside. Charming "feel good" story from the XWP classic period. DO NOT MISS! - 11 pgs., 10/31/01
http://www.merwolf.com/academy/halloween/cnwinters_candyorchaos.html

CAVES by Jill
Marking the debut on the Web of a gifted new bard, this nicely crafted tale has an almost mystical feel to it. It has Xena hunting the same mythical creatures she first encountered as a warlord many years before. Meanwhile, Gabrielle struggles to understand what it is exactly that Xena is planning to go up against - an effort made even more challenging when a mysterious woman shows up with connections both to the warrior and the unseen menace Xena is determined to find. Jill does a nice job with the depictions of Xena and Gabrielle, establishing between them an easy sense of trust, love and protectiveness. Note: The story does contain subtext. [See also the follow-up THE SEA AND THE SPRING LEAVES in the alternative fiction section.] - 23 pgs., 12/22/97
http://ausxip.com/fanfic/caves.html

**CELESTIAL BUFFET: MALEFICENT BEAUTY by Creme Brulee - [Alt]
Creme Brulee is cooking again with this DELIGHTFUL uber-Conqueror homage to the SLEEPING BEAUTY fairy tale. For those of you who are familiar with the Disney version - well...this is juuuuust a tad different ;-) Charged with the well-being of the as-yet unborn princess Aurora, her three fairy godmothers are horrified when a vision reveals to them who the princess' true love will eventually be - none other than their evil sister Maleficent - a dark sorceress ostracized from the kingdom and their family for her dealings in dark magic and her rebellious determination to live life on her own terms. Intent on protecting the princess, the three sisters cast a spell that should keep Aurora and the dark sorceress apart and one day join the princess's life to that of the neighboring prince. Two things they don't quite count on though - the strength of true love...or the staying power of true lust. Years later, at the princess' engagement party, Aurora catches her first glimpse of the dark, sexy, GORGEOUS sorceress everyone has been trying to keep her away from and suddenly those hormones kick in full force. For her part, Maleficent attends the festivities intent on wrecking havoc on the royal family, her own sisters and the kingdom but one look at the beautiful young princess starts wrecking a little havoc on the dark one's own composure. It's spells vs the magic of the heart as Maleficent goes head to head with her sisters for the right to choose her own destiny and have Aurora do the same. Clever, highly original and wonderfully entertaining, this is a fairy tale for the ADULT in us all ;-) Creme's writing is top notch, reflecting a quick wit and a very impressive mastery of the art of storytelling. Add this one to that MUST READ list folks - VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 22 pgs., 10/31/01
http://members.fortunecity.com/cremebrulee1/wrt2/mb/mb01.html

CHAINS OF ICE, CHAINS OF FIRE by Nene Adams - [Alt]
Known for her originality, Nene brings us a very unusual tale that reads a lot like the stories of old. On her way to meet with Gabrielle, Xena happens upon the home of a former captain in her army. She stops to rest and reminisce never suspecting the evil she has stumbled into it. Eerie and powerful. [Part of the CHAMBER OF HORRORS SERIES] - 4 pgs., 12/29/97
http://www.corrieweb.nl/chamber/xenachains.htm

**CHAMBER OF HORRORS SERIES by Nene Adams - featuring consistently excellent stories, this series gets my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!

IF THOU LOVEST ME - [Alt]
CHAINS OF ICE, CHAINS OF FIRE - [Alt]
**WHISTLING DOWN THE WIND
**FOR THE LOVE OF IRINA - [Alt]
**RESURRECTION AT REST - [Alt]
**ALL I EVER WANTED WAS YOU - [Alt]
**THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY - [Alt]
**"I" OF THE BEHOLDER - [Alt]
FLESH OF MY FLESH - [Alt]
THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF AMPHIPOLIS - [Alt]
**LEGEND OF CASSUS SOMNUS (THE) - [Alt]

DATE TO REMEMBER (A) by Barbara Davies - [Alt]
A fun, spooky offering set in Kent, England, Barbara's latest chronicles the first date of a young hairdresser and a shy mechanic when the two decide to spend Halloween night aboard one of the towers of a long-abandoned sea fort used during World War II to defend London from German bombers flying up the Thames river. More intrigued by the rusty towers than frightened by them, the two intend to admire the view of the Kent coast, have a picnic and get to know one another better but another surprise awaits them as past and present collide on the lonely towers making that first date a lot more memorable than they ever thought it could be. Barbara skillfully imbues the story with a lot of atmosphere allowing us to feel the remoteness of the setting and the wonder of the characters at the events they experience. This one should be perfect for a cozy Halloween evening. - 12 pgs., 10/31/01
http://merwolf.com/academy/halloween/barbaradavies_adate.html

DEAD COME KNOCKING IF YOU LEAVE THE SCREEN DOOR OPEN (THE) by Susan Smith - [Alt]
Susan brings us a very special treat with this new Halloween tale which also acts as a prequel to her ground breaking uber OF DRAG KINGS AND A WARRIOR PRINCESS. Set about three years before that story, this new one features a seventeen-year-old Taryn experiencing what life is like at Rhea's during the ritual celebration of Samhain, All Hallow's Eve - a time when both visions and wandering spirits may visit the living. Taryn soon finds herself connecting with a troubled spirit whose tragic life deeply moves the young drag king. Helping that spirit becomes a priority even as Taryn wonders also about the mysterious woman in her visions... This is an intriguing look at the early dynamics between Taryn and the friends who would become her adopted family. - 7 pgs., 10/26/99, re-released 1/20/01
http://www.azarnes.com/dead.htm

CHRONICLES OF THE WARRIOR PRINCESS - BOOK I: HUNTERS AND THE HUNTED by JPuertoR   CAT
Just in time for Halloween we get an entertaining XWP/ALIENS/PREDATOR crossover thriller by a new bard which has Xena and Gabrielle discovering a cache of these strange looking eggs in the forest. Soon after they happen upon the creatures responsible for that little cache just as these are...getting to know the locals. Meanwhile, another deadly visitor is making his presence known, playing a game which the warrior and bard know they must join before humans become an endangered species. This is a suitably gory, suspenseful action-adventure which fans of the sci-fi horror genre should particularly enjoy. [unfinished] - 10 pgs., 10/18/98
http://members.aol.com/jpuertor/xenafiction/hunters.htm

**CIRCLE OF STONES by Mary Morgan
With stories like AFTER THE VOLCANO, JUDGEMENT OF THE GODS, and JUST A PINCH OF BLACK POWDER, Mary Morgan has a history of giving us exceptionally well-written, thought-provoking fiction. It is a reputation she lives up to with this latest effort which has Xena and Gabrielle investigating the disappearance of several villagers when an unexpected development leaves the bard racing against time to solve a mystery made suddenly much more personal. Mary's treatment of the Xena/Gab relationship is one of the factors that always make her stories such a pleasure to read. She envisions them with a kind of connection that is spiritual and magical and always poignant. It is this depiction that turns a simple mystery into so much more - a MUST READ that comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! -- 6 pgs., 8/11/98
http://www.altfic.com/subtextfic/Xena/morgan/circleofstones.htm
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

**CRY WOLF by Mary Morgan
A poignant new offering from this gifted storyteller set around the mysterious events which take place at a village after a young woman is captured and imprisoned there. Only the village blacksmith is moved by the girl's quiet suffering as she endures and struggles to fulfill some unmentioned purpose as if her very life depended on it. I continue to be amazed at how this bard can tell a story more by implying things than saying them straight out. In mastering this economy of words technique, Mary gives us stories that are meaningful and deeply moving. Moreover, she tends to develop the characterizations of Xena and Gabrielle through the eyes of others which in turns makes characters like the blacksmith in this story fascinating players in their own right. A wonderful effort you should not miss. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 9 pgs., 3/4/98
http://www.altfic.com/subtextfic/Xena/morgan/crywolf.htm
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

DARK PROMISE by Katrina and Sharon Bowers - [Alt]
This latest entry in Katrina's BLOOD AND ROSES SERIES promises to be one wild, fun ride. A crossover tale featuring the characters from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, this story has Buffy getting quite a surprise when she meets Willow's aunts who aside from having the same names as a couple of popular TV characters, also keep setting off the slayer's hypersensitive senses. Katrina and Sharon's characterizations are on the money and will delight fans of both series although this is entertaining even if you only watch one of them. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! [unfinished] - 3/8/98
http://bea rblue.simplenet.com/STO/brose/buffy/willow.html

**DEMON (THE) by Rachel2   CAT
Xena and Gab meet the monster from THE PREDATOR. A scary, thrilling piece with some of the best written action scenes I've read. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! [NOTE: Rachel2's stories build on one another so I recommend you read them in this order: THE DEMON, RIVALS (this one is listed in the Alternative reviews list), A WARLORD'S LEGACY, and THE PRINCESS BARD (also listed in the Alternative reviews list)] - 11 pgs., 12/96
http://xenafan.com/fiction/content/thedemon.html

**DEVIL'S ADVOCATE (THE) by Nene Adams - [Alt]
The adventures of Lady Evangeline "Lina" St. Claire and Rhiannon Moore continue in this FANTASTIC sequel to Nene's first uber-Xena story BLACK BY GASLIGHT. This time the intrepid private investigator and her secretary are faced with a mystery strangely connected to Lina's own past - a mystery involving the disappearance of two people, the gruesome murder of an old friend, the growing strength of a secretive cult and clues horrid enough to scare even the bravest of hearts. Extremely well-written, this story reflects Nene's impressive historical and literary knowledge with an incredible attention to detail. In Lina and Rhiannon she has created characters which although based on the warrior and her bard, are in themselves unique and fascinating. Still unfinished, this story promises to be something different and thoroughly entertaining. This is the second entry in Nene's GASLIGHT SERIES. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 82 pgs., 8/31/97
http://www.corrieweb.nl/gaslight/devil1.htm

DOLOROSA: OUR LADY OF DARKNESS by Nene Adams - [Alt]
Nene celebrates Halloween with an eerie new offering about obsession, guilt, injustice and the power of love. Told in first person, this is the story of a talented Scottish artist heir to a crumbling estate deep in debt. To survive, our narrator travels to Paris where she makes herself a career painting portraits of the wealthy. It's a life that changes drastically when she meets Jenny Dolorosa, a beautiful maid who becomes the love of her life - and soon the sole subject of her paintings. With their illicit affair revealed, the two are forced back to Scotland where our narrator's obsession with her art soon has terrible repercussions for the lovely Jenny Dolorosa plunging them into a living nightmare of separation and grief as one struggles with guilt - and the other struggles to reveal the truth about a world very different from the one they've known. Poignant, creepy and reaffirming all at once, this one very effectively blends the ingredients required of alt. fiction with those of Halloween tales. - 6 pgs., 10/26/99
http://www.corrieweb.nl/chamber/dolorosa1.htm

**EMBODIMENT OF EVIL by Godot
A splendid follow-up to Godot's delightful tale SING YOU A SONG OF JUSTICE which continues the adventures of the wacky sorceress Antipany, still vent on someday getting revenge on the Warrior Princess but for the moment forced to struggle for her own life when she falls into the clutches of a great evil. Guided by Antipany's pet vulture Peisander and with a certain bard cleverly manipulating her, a VERY reluctant Xena sets out to try to rescue the woman all the while being reminded by one life-threatening challenge or another just how much...she HATES sorcerers! One word describes this story best of all - FUN! Antipany is one of the best original characters in fan fiction and her interactions with the warrior and bard are simply PRICELESS!! Godot also does a magnificent job with the characterizations of Xena and Gabrielle and in the depiction of their friendship which is sweet, based on a fierce devotion and an uncompromising faith in one another. This story has elements which will remind you of the episode A DAY IN THE LIFE. A very special read that is NOT TO BE MISSED! VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! [See also the sequel THE SOUL CATCHER] - 25 pgs., 9/17/97
http://xenafan.com/fiction/content/embodiment.html

ENEMY (THE) by Mary Morgan
Intriguing story which has the Warrior Princess going up against a deadly figure known as the "tax gatherer" who has been terrorizing a small town. At her side as usual is the bard, while observing them both is a tavern owner, fascinated by the unlikely friendship between the two women and their unflagging determination to protect the town. Mary excels at showing the deep bond between Xena and Gabrielle by depicting it through the eyes of others. This is a nicely written tale which highlights Xena's brain over her brawn :) - 10 pgs., 12/22/97
http://www.storycorner.org/marymorgan/enemy.htm
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

FAITH by Idryth - [Alt]
Set shortly after season two, this Halloween offering is set in a dark forest where Gabrielle is supposed to have rendezvous with the Warrior Princess in the morning but has still seen no sign of Xena by nightfall. Drawn to a mysterious light she initially thinks might be the warrior, the bard serves as a catalyst for a series of events that will eventually bring closure to another soul looking for its mate. Spooky little tale with a nice reaffirming quality to it. - 8 pgs., 10/31/01
http://www.merwolf.com/academy/halloween/idryth_faith.html

FALL OF THE HOUSE OF AMPHIPOLIS (THE) by Nene Adams - [Alt]
Inspired by Edgar Allen Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher", this exceedingly CREEPY entry in Nene's CHAMBER OF HORRORS SERIES finds the warrior and bard on their way back to Amphipolis to help an old friend and former lover of Xena's whose current partner has taken ill. For the warrior the experience soon becomes a trip back in time as it slowly becomes clear that the problems she had with her old friend have simply intensified over time. For Gabrielle the whole thing becomes a nightmare as she learns first-hand just how...problematic...Xena's ex'es can be. Nene manages a great blending of that Poe atmosphere with the Xena/Gab dynamics in a timely story, supplemented by a gorgeous graphical presentation. One for the Halloween reading list! - 15 pgs., 10/26/99
http://www.corrieweb.nl/chamber/house1.htm

**FOLLOW THE BLOOD by Fyrequeene - [Alt]
This is one of those stories that you will find yourself simply unable to put down once you start reading. A riveting, MASTERFULY crafted tale that recalls a vary dark time in the life of the Warrior Princess. It is a time Xena reluctantly finds herself remembering as she and Gabrielle travel through an area she once destroyed, on their way to a meeting with one of the men who helped her in that campaign. What they come upon instead is an unfolding mystery that becomes more gruesome with each passing day - eventually even instilling fear in the heart of the warrior herself. Fyrequeene's writing is characterized by an economy of words that makes it very easy to read and wonderfully effective. The Xena/Gab relationship has a subtle feel to it that makes it powerful and highly emotional beneath the surface. The characterizations are exceptional. Put this one at the top of your MUST READ list. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! - 53 pgs., 1/28/98
http://xenafan.com/fiction/content3/xgblood.html

**FONDER HEART: A BITE ME SEQUEL (THE) by Katrina - [Alt]
Set in the present day, this is a poignant sequel to Katrina's BITE ME which helps set the premise for her BLOOD AND ROSES SERIES. The story has Gabrielle, made immortal by Bacchus' blood, suffering the aching loneliess of life without her soulmate and taking comfort in the arms of another - a mortal with an incredible resemblance to the ancient warrior a bard once loved so much. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 4 pgs., 10/30/97
http://bearblue.150m.com/library2/1990s/STO/bite2.html
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

**FOR THE LOVE OF IRINA by Nene Adams - [Alt]
Based upon J. Sheridan LeFanu's CARMILLA and Bram Stoker's DRACULA, this EXCEPTIONAL uber story set in 18th century Romania, does the horror genre proud combining those classic tales with familiar faces from XWP in a reading experience you wont soon forget. Anxious for some companionship to brighten the lonely existence in her father's Romanian castle, lady Gabriella is intrigued when a beautiful stranger is brought to stay with them while she recovers from an accident. For the younger Gabriella, Irina is an irresistible enigma - a mysterious figure with no past who begins to weave a seductive spell around the girl. As the surrounding villages are marked by a series of unexplained and gory deaths, Gabriella begins to suffer from strange nightmares - dreams of a forbidden passion and a deadly hunger - dreams which she soon realizes are all too real when she gazes into the portrait of a long-dead countess only to find familiar blue eyes starring back at her. Thus begins to unfold a story of horror and heartbreak, of soulmates separated by the lust for revenge and of dark passions that even the fiercest of loves may not be able to tame. One of the top writing talents in this fandom, Nene easily displays here her skill with the written word, delivering an exquisitely written piece that is in fact quite reminiscent in style to the 19th century literary classics on which it is partly based. Meanwhile, the storyline is also a very nice homage to some of the screen versions of these classics, in particular Francis Ford Coppola recent BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA. Nene does a great job of tweaking the familiar vampire scenario to suit her uber-Xena heroines even incorporating some familiar faces as supporting players. Masterful storytelling in a piece that is a delight to read and should be particularly appealing to fans of the horror genre. This gets my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION! [Part of the CHAMBER OF HORRORS SERIES] - 35 pgs., 2/4/99
http://www.corrieweb.nl/chamber/irina1.htm

FROM THE DARKNESS CAME by Raistlyn
Very eerie new story that finds Xena and Gabrielle trying to help two kingdoms sign a peace treaty after years of war between them only someone seems intent on stopping that treaty and is willing to murder to do so. - 22 pgs., 2/16/98
http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Chamber/7473/fromdarkness.html

FROM THE PITS OF HELL by KrystalKnight - [Alt]
A very timely SPAWN/XWP crossover tale that has Xena and Gabrielle combining forces with warrior angels to try to reach a new Hellspawn before the powers of darkness can consume him. Characters from the comic AVENGELYNE also appear in this. A well-written tale that fans of the comic book characters in particular should enjoy. - 53 pgs., 8/7/97
http://xenafan.com/fiction/content/hell.html

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