NOTE: I do not update these reports after they are posted so some of the links may not work after a while. If you find a broken link check the title in the alphabetical lists of alternative or general reviews at the end of this report.

[Previous report was for 11/23/97]

Hi guys,

Several terrific new stories tonight!


With stories like JUST AN ORDINARY DAY and THE CYPRESS GROVE Scout has delivered some of the most moving and beautifully written tales in XWP fan fiction. It is a reputation she more than lives up to with this newest effort - a novel which is her longest story to date and arguably her finest. This is a tale about two friendships separated by eons, but forged by the same fierce love, loyalty and trust. It is a story about slavery and courage, cruelty and hope. It is a story that will touch the deepest recesses of your heart and leave you believing in the ability of the human spirit to pass on the best parts of itself to the generations yet to come. This begins as a Mel/Janice story with Mel's niece Carrie going to visit her aunt. The young girl is delighted when the two women decide to take her along on a trip to the Mediterranean where they are going to investigate a new archeological find - a find which could give them more clues about the lives of their legendary ancestors. Most Mel/Janice stories to date have featured Xena and Gabrielle as well but mostly in secondary roles where they are seen briefly through flashbacks or in dreams. In THE LONG WAY HOME, by contrast, they are EVERY bit as important as their descendants with a story of their own which is truly at the heart of this novel. As we read about Mel and Janice uncovering the past - we also SEE that past - one of Xena and Gabrielle's most trying and emotionally draining adven- tures as they join the crew of Xena's old ship, now run by slavers, intent on making sure they don't continue using it for that purpose. On board they find a young boy who is regularly subjected to the worse of cruelties- a boy who Gabrielle becomes determined to save at any cost. The struggle of these two women to give back freedom and hope to those from whom it has been stripped parallels the dogged determination of an archeologist and her partner millenniums later to uncover that story and reaffirm the legend of a warrior and her bard. Similar also is the impact the friends will have on the young lives they come in contact with - with Xena and Gabrielle giving a child hope in the ancient past and Janice and Mel inspiring the soul of another in the present. Scout uses a different perspective for the present-day and ancient parts of the novel with Carrie telling the story about her trip with Mel and Janice while the tale involving Xena and Gabrielle unfolds on its own. It is an effective technique which gives a distinctive flavor to the two separate plots. This is a poignant, marvelously crafted story guaranteed to put a tear in your eye one moment and a smile on your face the next. A wonderful read which receives my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!

The conclusion of this story is now available. This is a very well written, action-packed story which has Callisto orchestrating a devious trap for the Warrior Princess and bard - a trap which will lead them right into the hands of one of Xena's deadliest and oldest enemies and into the heart of an empire. In this final part, Gabrielle learns of a prophecy that will change the world and together with Xena later witnesses a terrifying transfer of power. This story is the first piece of fan fiction set after the events in the episode GABRIELLE'S HOPE. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

THE GAME AT CYRENE by Joseph Anderson
Xena tells Gabrielle about a particularly bloody time from her past. Joseph's characterization of the warlord Xena is ruthless and suitably shocking. Note: This story contains violence. [See also the sequel DOLON reviewed below].

DOLON by Joseph Anderson
Gabrielle meets the young eunuch who served Xena during some of her years as a warlord. Like THE GAME AT CYRENE (reviewed above), this story offers a sharp contrast between the Warrior Princess of old and the reformed Xena as we see the warrior interacting once again with the young man who was once her slave. [See also THE GAME AT CYRENE].


Phopas' latest installment is a follow-up to her three previous novels ABOUT THAT KISS, HONEYMOON and HEART AND SOUL. After everything the warrior and bard have been through in recent months, the two decide to take a vacation only things don't turn out exaaaaactly as planned when they end up on an island where artsy types get NO respect, the Warrior Princess is idolized and TENNIS RULES!!!! Tennis you ask??? Yeap - tennis ;-) What can I say, it's a wild, ZANY ride, very reflective of this bard's HIGHLY original brand of humor. It is also a tribute to popular culture with some of the best guest stars I've EVER seen in a XWP story! :) In addition to the comedy, Phopas' depiction of the Xena/Gab relationship makes them seem very real, very much in love and in lust. She's developed the characterizations nicely from ABOUT THAT KISS when they first admitted what they felt, to the excitement of the new in HONEYMOON, the deepening love in HEART AND SOUL to the trust and sense of familiarity between them in this latest effort. It's a wacky, FUN story but the treatment of the relationship is really what makes it special. This one will keep you grinning and is NOT TO BE MISSED! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Back in April 1997, Shay released the PERFECT story for all us feline lovers, the delightful CAT'S MEOW featuring a precocious little feline named Flax. Having helped the warrior and bard FINALLY admit their feelings for one another in that story, Flax is now determined to help protect their love at any cost so when Gabrielle's life is threatened he joins forces with the Warrior Princess to fight the evil intent on destroying them. Shay has a wonderful way of portraying both the mystery associated with felines and their propensity for mischief. This one should appeal to all and is a definite MUST READ for feline sympathizers ;-)

Ephiny recalls the first time she met the Warrior Princess - an encounter which took place while Xena was still a brutal warlord - a moment in time the warrior does not even seem to remember but which Ephiny will never forget. Bowers characterization of Ephiny is very well done in this original story.

THE PAYMENT by Rebecca Hall
Set after the events in the episode THE PRICE, this tale has Xena deeply troubled by her behavior during the stand-off with the Horde and the bard determined to get back the warrior she loves so well. Emotional and passionate. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Nicely written first-time story set after the events in RETURN OF CALLISTO which has Xena worried at how withdrawn Gabrielle has been and the bard realizing that she can't continue to hide her real feelings from the warrior.

For those of you reading this post who are not familiar with the term alternative (alt.), it refers to ADULT stories that add a romantic element to the relationship between Xena and Gabby, depicting them as more than just friends.

Happy reading!

Lunacy 8-)