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Last modified: November 03 2012 12:33:12

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

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.

Definition of Warlord/Slave fiction

DARK SWORD (THE) by Allyson Heisey
Intense tale that has Xena once again revisiting all the dark emotions that drove her as a warlord when Ares secretly gifts her with an enchanted sword. Desperate, a seemingly helpless Gabrielle becomes determined to try to save her Warrior Princess...only Xena may not want to be saved. A suspenseful tale about the seductive allure of power pitted against the strength of pure love.

**EMBRACE (THE) and FREEDOM by C.J. Wells - [Alt]
These two Conqueror tales recount the same story, told first from Gabrielle's point of view and later Xena's. It's a compelling story, at times troubling, at times deeply poignant, of two very different souls drawn together and yet kept apart by the insecurities and fears and harshness learned in a world where the struggle for survival can harden one's heart and the quest for power can require one's humanity in tribute. As the story begins, Gabrielle has been living in the Conqueror's castle for a while now, suffering mistreatment, abuse and humiliation in a situation growing more puzzling by the day. Resigned to her life as the Conqueror's slave, Gabrielle has learned to deal with the mistreatment. What is more confusing are her feelings for the Conqueror and the Conqueror's own mystifying behavior toward her - showing gentleness one moment and brutality the next, at times revealing vulnerability only to erase that in an instant with the Destroyer's traditional mask of coldness. What the young slave doesn't suspect is the tumultuous battle raging within the Conqueror's soul as Gabrielle's gentle presence is slowly tearing down walls put there by an indomitable will long determined to hurt and destroy others before they could get past those walls. It's a battle for the heart of a woman who long ago forgot how to love - a battle for the soul of a Conqueror immersed in darkness, responding despite itself to a spirit whose nobility even darkness cannot dim. CJ has based her stories on others that have recently appeared offering a very dark portrayal of the Conqueror. This type of Xena fanfic is heavily psychological in nature exploring the psyche of a character used to expressing her power and control by hurting others who is suddenly having to deal with a newly awakened conscience and the human being responsible for that change. Moreover, it's a character study as well of a young woman who somehow manages to keep her humanity despite the savagery of the world around her - in the process helping to change that world. CJ takes the story to a very satisfying conclusion that validates the struggle these characters go through. EMBRACE and FREEDOM offer an occasionally unsettling but very moving and ultimately reaffirming look at what our heroine's lives might have been under different circumstances. DO NOT MISS! [Note: The stories both include and refer to instances of physical abuse.] - 11 pgs., 10 pgs., 1/29/00.
EMBRACE - http://www.cousinliz.com/fanfic/cjwells_te.html
FREEDOM - http://www.cousinliz.com/fanfic/cjwells_f.html

ENTHRALLED by S. Derkins -- [Alt]
Yet another of those unconventional uber stories, this one a historical one following the struggles of a beautiful captive from the lands of the North as she's forced into a life of slavery, eventually becoming part of an Indian lord's household. Purchased by a sadistic owner, Skye struggles to maintain her dignity with little hope for the future until another heart, also longing for freedom, reaches out to her, awakening the proud Northerner to feelings she's never known before and bringing two soulmates together again. Original premise and original characterizations in a poignant storyline. - 24 pgs., 12/30/98
FANFIC ART: Felioness Story Cover

**FREEDOM - see THE EMBRACE by C.J. Wells - [Alt]

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