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Last modified: November 03 2012 12:33:12

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

Marking the birth of a new solar year and the beginning of Winter, Solstice is a celebration that takes place in mid-December and which has its origins in the traditions of Ancient Pagan cultures. Known through the ages as Yule, Saturnalia and most recently Christmas, the celebration has been incorporated into religious observances in modern times but has always been a time for getting together with friends and family, a time of rituals, feast, and parties. Below are reviews of fanfic and original fiction set around the time of the ancient Solstice festivities and also uber tales featuring our more familiar Christmas traditions.

XWP is set in Ancient Greece which did not exactly celebrate the same holidays we celebrate today. However, they did have festivities which were similar in spirit and often took place around the same time of the year. For more information on the types of festivals and holidays which the Ancient Greeks celebrated 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.

**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 Solstice 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

An entertaining collection of stories transcribed by a biographer of Gabrielle of Poteidaia and featuring the bard's recollections of some of her most memorable adventures with Xena: Warrior Princess. In SOLSTICE EVE she remembers one of the many times her warrior defended her. This is followed by two very different hurt/comfort tales THE FEVER and SPLISH SPLASH, I WAS TAKIN' A BATH. The first has a delirious Xena recalling some of the most violent events from her past, while in the second an unconscious Gabrielle is gifted with the opportunity to see the future of two souls fated to never be far apart. In THE BLOOD STONE a friend is up to his old tricks again while in THE LAST COMPETITION a certain warrior reveals perhaps one of her most surprising skills. Finally Gabrielle shares the story of THESPUS AND HORATIO, a couple of very unusual warriors she and Xena once helped on their quest to locate a legendary ring of power. Told from Gabrielle's perspective, these tales all have a refreshing slice-of-life feel to them. Sometimes funny, sometimes suspenseful and always revealing of the deep love between the Bard of Poteidaia and her beloved warrior, this collection of stories will have you both grinning and feeling a terrific sense of poignancy. Nice work. -- 104 pgs., 8/23/98

Already responsible for two of my favorite Solstice stories ever, SOLSTIVE EVE and SOLSTICE MORNING, Beowolf brings us an absolutely BEAUTIFUL new offering set exactly one year after those two earlier stories. This time Solstice finds the warrior and bard in a very different place under very different circumstances with Xena feeling horribly guilty at the life she is giving Gabrielle. The little bard, however, has different thoughts on the matter, knowing full well from where her happiness truly comes. This story is very much based on the sense of love and family and hope the Solstice season celebrates. It is reaffirming and deeply poignant. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! [PLEASE make SURE to read afterwards Beowolf's story CROSSINGS] - 4 pgs., 12/25/97

**BEST GIFT (THE) by MomBard - [Alt]
Actually written by MomBard's daughter Sue, this heartwarming Solstice tale opens with Gabrielle in a rather melancholy mood - content to simply listen outside of Cyrene's inn as her partner spends time with her family. It's a situation that doesn't last for long as a certain Warrior Princess goes in search of her missing bard determined to show her just what she means to her and what she's come to mean to the rest of her family. Sue handles the characterizations here beautifully, portraying Gabrielle as a very sensitive young woman deeply touched by the overwhelming devotion she feels for her partner and the sense of belonging Xena and her family are inspiring in her. The warrior for her part is playful and loving and happy for once. Really nice combination in a little gem of a story that is indeed a gift. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! [See the sequel THE BEST GIFT 2: THE GIFT OF LOVE] - 6 pgs., 2/7/00

**BEST GIFT 2 (THE): THE GIFT OF LOVE by Susan A. Rice - [Alt]
In this sequel to her first holiday offering, THE BEST GIFT, Susan turns the tables a bit as this time, 26 years later, it's the Warrior Princess that is feeling a little melancholy remembering her life with her bard when said bard entices her back into the warmth of a family gathering and then convinces her to open up those Solstice presents a little early ;-) Sweet story with a reaffirming, loving portrayal of a relationship which just seems to be getting stronger with time. DO NOT MISS! - 4 pgs.

**BROKEN BLADE (THE): A TALE OF CAMELOT by Llachlan -- [Alt]
Llachlan contributes a very promising new entry in the INFINITY SERIES as the immortal Xena tells her beloved Rickie about a time of knights and kings and chivalry and intrigue. With the teenager listening spellbound, the ancient warrior remembers the day centuries before when she found the bastard son of a medieval warlord and set out to turn that babe into the king legends had long ago foretold. Llachlan immediately captures here the sense of mystery usually associated with the origins of King Arthur. Moreover, careful attention is also paid to developing the Xena/Rickie relationship, imbuing it with a deep sense of love and tender passion. With a nice flashback to Xena and Rickie's first Solstice together - this is particularly timely story that will immediately grab your attention. One to look forward to in the weeks ahead. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! [unfinished] - 8 pgs., 11/2/98

A solstice story in the tradition of Charles Dicken's A CHRISTMAS CAROL which has the Fates showing Xena what life would have been like for her and Gabrielle had she never allowed the young girl from Poteidaia to follow her. Poignant tale with a a good depiction of Xena and her relationship with the Gabster. - 20 pgs., 3/30/98

A really sweet story that has Gabrielle enlisting the aid of Artemis in order to give the Warrior Princess a very special Solstice present. A nicely written tale which celebrates the friendship between warrior and bard. - 15 pgs., 3/30/98

**CHRISTMAS STORY (A) by Anne Azel
A very different Christmas tale, this holiday gem from one of our premier uber writers begins on a bleak, snowy night as a young woman is mercilessly beaten by a group of gang members. From the shadows of an alley, a figure watches knowing that the beating had been meant for her. Used to doing whatever is necessary to survive, Charlie has no intentions of feeling guilty but as the gang members depart something pulls her toward the bleeding form in the snow - and toward a destiny she can't evade. Anne presents us here with two characters that are very human and very compelling ironically brought together by the tragedy of urban violence. Mixing the Christmas spirit with a sense of fate - this is a memorable uber perfect for the holiday season. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 5 pgs., 12/10/00

**CIRCLE OF LIFE by Melissa Good -- [Alt]
Possibly more anticipated than the fourth season of XWP, comes the continuation of Missy's beloved Xena/Gab series in a story which continues the tale from FESTIVAL but is actually set after the events in the episode FAMILY AFFAIR. Still recuperating from their recent ordeal, the warrior and bard are back in Amphipolis awaiting the birth of their child and treasuring their time together as never before. With Amazons visiting and word of friends and family in trouble, however, their tranquillity is short-lived as the two, reunited once again, prepare to face whatever life throws their way. Missy's very special style is clearly in evidence as this novel opens - immediately placing the Xena/Gab relationship center stage and infusing the story with a unique blend of delightful humor, poignant drama and enchanting characterizations. If you want to treat yourself to the work of a master storyteller DO NOT MISS this story or any other of the others in the series. This gets my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION! [part of the JOURNEY OF SOULMATES SERIES- 192 pgs., 10/25/98

Ciegra Story Cover - Not currently available on the Web
"Dori - Aged 1 Month" by Kelly
"Dori - Aged 3 Years" by Kelly
"Doriana - Dori" by Mardi
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

**FIRST SOLSTICE by Melissa Good
Our resident bard/scriptwriter took some time from her busy schedule this past Christmas to contribute this lovely little story about the grrls' first Solstice together. Seeking shelter from the elements in a quiet mountain grove, the warrior and her young companion share their meager food supply as Gabrielle reminisces about a childhood Solstice and unknowingly gives a former warlord a very unexpected gift. With her usual subtle skill, Missy captures the special magic evident even in the early days of this relationship. Reminiscent of episodes like SINS OF THE PAST and SOLSTICE CAROL, this is a refreshing visit with classic Xena and Gab. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 3 pgs., 12/27/01

GIFT (THE) by Lawlsfan - [Alt]
Lawlsfan alters the series timeline a bit in this heartwarming Solstice tale that has Xena's plans for a special celebration with her bard under serious jeopardy when the most unlikeliest of benefactors steps in to save the day. Well-written with appealing characterizations. DO NOT MISS! - 8 pgs., 12/15/99

Sweet holiday story that has Xena, Gabrielle, their respective families and friends gathering for Solstice in Amphipolis where the warrior has her work cut out for her trying to mend some fences with her partner's father. Nice family feel to this one with some fun moments. - 20 pgs., 1/21/00

**HOLIDAY OF GIVING (THE) by Red Hope - [Alt]
A touching Solstice story that has Xena and Gabrielle meeting a homeless little boy amidst the indifference of an uncaring town. Red Hope pulls all those heart strings in a story that shows how heroes can be at their most heroic doing the simple things in life. Very enjoyable read but keep those kleenex handy! DO NOT MISS! - 14 pgs., 12/10/00

Warrior and bard spend Solstice planning for the future ;-) Clear evidence of LJ's rather unusual but original sense of humor. The web page includes a number of Solstice sound files for those of you with speakers and audio software. [Note: some Netscape users may not be able to see the page] - 5 pgs., 12/12/98

This story is just plain CUTE! A quirky little tale that has a Gabrielle and a grumpy Warrior Princess encountering all sorts of unusual things on Solstice Eve - from a rather strange looking reindeer, to people roasting these oversize nuts, to their old friend Senticles. Despite the unusual sightings, however, at the heart of the story is a reaffirmation of the love between these two friends and the beautiful spirit of this Winter celebration. If this doesn't put you in the Solstice spirit NOTHING will! :) - 7 pgs., 12/11/97

**LONGEST NIGHT (THE) by Melissa Good -- [Alt]
Starting immediately where WINTER'S ENDING left off, Missy's latest novel immediately captures the heart and the imagination with the very distinctive style of storytelling that fan fiction aficionados have come to recognize as among the best the Xenaverse has to offer. Still in Amphipolis where Gabrielle has been recovering from her recent ordeal, Xena and the bard learn from some refugees of the activities of raiders in the surrounding areas. Worried for Gabrielle's family who will be traveling to Amphipolis to attend their planned joining ceremony, the two decide to head out to meet them. Despite their genuine concern, the decision reflects a growing need they've both had to return to the freedom of life on the road - the freedom to enjoy the closeness they now share and the natural world that was their only home for so long - only the beauty of that world can be deceptive, hiding dangers both natural and man-made. Missy continues in this story to look at the deepening love between these two women - exploring how this love is allowing one heart to flourish and the other to start healing at last. There's nothing quite like the feeling you get when you read a Missy story folks. This bard knows how to touch all the right buttons. Should come as no surprise to anyone who's read her previous novels that this one gets my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION! [See the sequel REFLECTIONS FROM THE PAST, part of the JOURNEY OF SOULMATES SERIES] - 290 pgs., 11/29/97

Barron Story Cover
Ciegra Story Cover - Not currently available on the Web
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

**MIDNIGHT CLEAR (A) by Blue -- [Alt]
A true Solstice gift for us all, Blue's latest is a very unique, magical uber tale with one of the most original incarnations of the warrior and bard we have yet to see. Set the day before Christmas eve, the story begins with New Yorker Vanessa Reynolds observing the latest antics of her very strong-minded feline, Raven, and remembering the day she saved the dark-furred beauty from certain death at an animal shelter. Having had no intention to become a cat owner when Raven nevertheless adopted her, Vanessa is determined to ignore the other strays fighting in the alley outside her window - a resolution that's quickly abandoned when the dark feline becomes obsessed with the noise outside, eventually drawing her owner's attention to a golden little bundle about to be ripped to shreds there. Amazed at how Raven and the newcomer just hit it off, Vanessa soon finds herself with two cats as she searches for her guest's owner, never suspecting the conspiracy playing out all around her... ;-) Generating a sense of hope and revolving around the timeless quality of love, this MUST READ also offers a number of hysterical lines. A MIDNIGHT CLEAR is a true fanfic delight that comes VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 21 pgs., 12/24/98

**MOUTH OF BABES (THE) by Maggie
A BEAUTIFUL Solstice story that acts as a sequel to Maggie's previous tale THE SILVER FOX. Having recovered somewhat from the recent ordeal in the land of Chin, the Xena and Gabrielle nevertheless find their friendship still deeply affected. There's a distance between them that frustrates both making them short-tempered and unsure. It is a problem that becomes of secondary importance when a little orphan girl comes into their lives. Unbeknownst to the warrior and bard, however, the waif's presence will have a pronounce effect on them both reminding them of the very special love and friendship they share and prompting them at last to face the fears that have been keeping them apart. This is a very touching and timely story which ties in well with the current challenges the two friends are facing in the TV series. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 40 pgs., 12/25/97
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

**PRESENT UNDER THE TREE (A) by Melissa Good -- [Alt]
A wonderful Christmas surprise for the many Missy fans out there, this DELIGHTFUL follow-up to the extraordinary TROPICAL STORM finds Dar and Kerry feeling increasingly comfortable in their relationship as they enjoy the holidays and make plans for Dar's upcoming birthday party. It is a time for friends and family - for reflecting on the change their lives have taken - and perhaps even for taking more of those emotional risks...As usual Missy excels here in capturing the magic of the relationship between her two heroines. Set in Merwolf's home town, this uber series has a terrifically authentic flavor to it (and this is coming from a fellow Miamian so I KNOW ;-). Dar, Kerry and the entire supporting cast are extraordinarily well-drawn characters brought to life by some very skillful storytelling. One for the top of your MUST READ list, this Solstice gift gets my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION! [Note: In order to avoid overtaxing the servers Missy's stories are available from lets please split our use of these guys - if your first name starts with the letters A-M use the first URL below, if it starts with N-Z use the second.] [See the sequel RINGING IN THE YEAR, part of the DAR AND KERRY SERIES] - 40 pgs., 12/25/98

Ciegra Story Cover - Not currently available on the Web
MaryD Story Cover
MISCELLANEOUS: The Dar Roberts And Kerry Stuart Fan Page
[French version: UN CADEAU SOUS LE SAPIN translated by Fryda at]
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

**READ THE FINE RUNES by Baermer -- [Alt]
After her epic PELOPONNESAN WAR SERIES Baermer returns with a suspenseful, wonderfully mysterious new story set during the Winter Solstice. The tale has Xena and the bard traveling to a town where Gabrielle hopes to find a Solstice gift for her companion. Soon after they arrive, however, the town residents begin exhibiting some very strange behavior while Xena starts to feel an overwhelming need to keep her bard safe. Baermer's portrayal of the Xena/Gab relationship is one of uncompromising love and protectiveness. The story works very well as a mystery with the various clues unraveling slowly and leading to some unexpected developments. A great read! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 22 pgs., 12/17/97

*SwordnQuill.php*">Susanne M. Beck (Sword'n'Quill) - [Alt]
At long last comes the much anticipated sequel to one of the finest ubers from 1999, Susanne's REDEMPTION, the hard-hitting, gritty story about two inmates finding solace, friendship, and love amidst the violence and desolation of a women's prison. As this sequel opens Ice and Angel are on their way out of the United States, intent on crossing the border into Canada in hopes of settling down in Angel's childhood home and avoiding the authorities still looking for Ice. It's a time of healing for the two of them as they put time and distance between themselves and the darkness they left behind, as their relationship deepens and as they start to make a new life, with old acquaintances and new ones bringing an unexpected sense of normality, acceptance and peace. For Angel in particular every day seems to bring one more reason to feel grateful as her beloved partner works to try to make all her dreams come true but beneath it all remains a troubling uncertainty, like the calm in the eye of the storm. It's an uncertainty Ice knows will continue to cast a shadow on their future for there are sins that will haunt them, dangers that will forever threaten unless old debts are settled and to do that they're gonna have to risk the happiness they've struggled so hard last time. This is simply put - an EXQUISITELY written story folks. Like the first novel it is told from Angel's point of view and beautifully captures the charm, humor and optimism, the contrasting wisdom and innocence of this unforgettable young woman. As seen through her eyes, all the other characters come alive - none more so, of course, than the beautiful, enigmatic loner that is her soulmate. Striking at times, the differences in personality between Angel and Ice bring a very touching sense of poignancy to their relationship. These are two women who've learned to accept and treasure those differences, who recognize one another's vulnerabilities, value one another's strengths, and are fiercely protective of the connection that makes their lives together so much more than what those lives were once apart. Like the first novel, RETRIBUTION also features a wonderful cast of supporting players with some terrific new additions to the story and the return of some old favorites. This is one of those rare writing achievements that simply shows NO weaknesses - exceptional storytelling, well-developed, engaging characterizations, a masterful merging of the sentimental with an underlying sense of misgiving all woven together in a richly detailed tapestry that will have you marveling every other sentence at this author's brilliance with the written word. This one easily joins the creme-della-creme of Internet fiction gaining my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION! - 270 pgs., 6/27/00

**SEASON OF GIVING (THE) by Barry Marshall
Nice story sure to put you in the Solstice spirit that has the Warrior Princess taking a little vacation and reminiscing about what her bard companion has come to mean to her. - 15 pgs., 12/16/97

SNOWBALL'S CHANCE (A) by Gillian Decker
A charming little Solstice story that has Xena and the bard returning to Amphipolis where they are soon ambushed by some tiny warmongers weilding deadly accurate...snowballs :) VERY cute. - 3 pgs., 1/29/98

SOLSTICE BENEFIT (A) by Kamouraskan - [Alt]
Set in the fifth season, this charming new entry has Salmoneous getting in a bit of trouble when Xena and Gabrielle discover that the small benefit they had agreed to do isn't quite as "small" as they had been led to believe. The promoter soon gets a reprieve, however, when an unexpected revelation shifts the bard's anger toward her partner forcing one very apologetic warrior into damage control mode. Kamouraskan latest does a nice job of capturing the warmth and fun that made the Xena/Gab relationship such a favorite. A Solstice read guaranteed to leave you with a grin. DO NOT MISS! - 11 pgs., 12/15/99

**SOLSTICE EVE by Beowolf -- [Alt]
I had the pleasure of getting a sneak peek of this story a while back and it's been a personal favorite ever since. Set in the time of the Winter Solstice, it has the warrior and her bard enjoying this magical time of the year while they stay at a village where the annual festival is in full swing. Delighting in all the activities, Gabrielle can't quite believe her stoic warrior seems to be enjoying herself too. What the storyteller does not know is that Xena has made careful plans to make sure everything is perfect for Gabrielle because for once she wants to show the bard just what she means to her. Beautiful. DO NOT MISS!. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! [See also the sequel SOLSTICE MORNING] - 5 pgs., 7/6/97


**SOLSTICE GIFT (THE) by T. Novan - [Alt]
T. Novan brings us a very sweet little Christmas present in this holiday yarn which has the warrior and bard temporarily separating so Gabrielle can spend some time at home without the conflict which usually erupts when her father sees the ex-warlord - only an unexpected solstice gift changes their plans... Great depiction of the Xena/Gab relationship in a story that will warm that old ticker. DO NOT MISS! - 6 pgs., 12/27/99

Heartwarming tale set during Solstice Eve when the stubborn determination of one friend serves as the guiding light for another. Very sweet. - 4 pgs., 2/11/99

SOLSTICE MOON by Linda Tellez (aka Saahira)
Intense tale that has Xena reliving a nightmare from the past when an old adversary strikes, this time endangering not only her life but the bard's as well. [See also the sequel A WARRIOR'S HEART] - 26 pgs., 3/19/98

**SOLSTICE MORNING by Beowolf -- [Alt]
This story is part of a "loose" series which began with SOLSTICE EVE. Like the first installment, this second tale is a gift for the heart - beautiful and very touching. Still set amidst the Winter Solstice, the story takes place the morning after the events in SOLSTICE EVE and has Gabrielle reminiscing about her time with Xena and then unveiling a little surprise for her warrior. Short and VERY much worth the read. [See also the sequel ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER SOLSTICE EVEN] HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 4 pgs., 7/11/97

SOLSTICE ON HIGH by Barry Marshall
Continuing his annual Holiday tradition Barry brings us a new Solstice story which finds the warrior and bard celebrating with some mortal and immortal friends and receiving a well-deserved gift. Heartwarming, feel-good tale. - 9 pgs., 12/27/99

SOLSTICE WISH by Barry Marshall
A very timely new offering that has the warrior and bard seeking shelter at a small village on a cold Solstice Eve and helping a gentle soul to keep the promise he once made his family. Heart-warming piece, perfect for the Holidays. DO NOT MISS! - 8 pgs., 12/22/98

**TWO HEARTS by de Bonheur -- [Alt]
The eleventh entry in the LONG IS THE WAY SERIES, this tale is set in the time of the Winter Solstice and has Xena realizing at last that the happiness she has found with her bard is indeed real. Tender, romantic and nicely written. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 5 pgs., 10/30/97

**UNCONQUERED SUN (THE) by XWPFanatic - [Alt]
The first ever Conqueror Solstice tale and the third entry in the SEVEN WONDERS SERIES, XWPFanatic's latest is a very timely read that has Gabrielle convincing her beloved Conqueror to reinstate the festival season. With things going well in the empire, Xena orders a series of celebrations, loving the sparkle of excitement in the eyes of her Amazon Queen and willing to endure even the more stifling traditions just so everything is as perfect as possible. It's a time that will reawaken feelings of home and family for them both but one which will also remind them of their duties to Greece and the ever-present dangers always lurking close-at-hand. Bringing back Pei-cha and the rest of the supporting cast, XWPFanatic does a terrific job in continuing to develop these characters, exploring the many sides of the Conqueror and delivering a very appealing depiction of her growing relationship with Gabrielle. These are two women as different as night and day who nevertheless complement each other beautifully and love each other passionately. A MUST for that Solstice reading list - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 31 pgs., 12/27/99

**WHAT CHILD IS THIS? by Brigid Doyle
A very nice "feel-good" sequel to Brigid's excellent uber HALFWAY TO MY HEART, this story picks up the story of the McAllister sisters as they get ready to celebrate their first Holiday season together. Each will have challenges to face as Reagan has to deal with the memories of Christmases with her parents and Payton has to adjust to once again celebrating a time she had once grown to despise. Together and with the help of friends, both old and new, the two sisters will rediscover the warmth of family and the magic of a season that celebrates love. Brigid does a good job here of reducing some of the angst from the first story while building the relationship between Regan and Payton and shedding a bit more light on the past of both characters. Another satisfying offering from a fine storyteller. DO NOT MISS! - 44 pgs., 8/10/01

XENA'S PRESENT by Pink Rabbit Productions -- [Alt]
Sweet vignette set after the episode SOLSTICE CAROL which has the bard still feeling bad she didn't get Xena anything for Solstice. - 2/14/98

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

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