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Last modified: November 03 2012 12:33:13

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

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

Definition of Xena The Conqueror fiction

Set in the world of Xena the Conqueror we first met in the HERCULES episode ARMAGEDDON NOW, this OUTSTANDING tale has the ruthless empress holding a contest to try to determine what "truth" is...with dire consequences for the losers. Undaunted and despite having first-hand knowledge of the woman's cruelty, Gabrielle chooses to participate, driven by this stubborn need to somehow reach the ice cold heart no one else seems capable of breaching. It marks the beginning of a difficult journey for both of them as the Conqueror finds herself intrigued by the young upstart and Gabrielle finds herself suddenly a part of the empress' life - forced to join her on a campaign against the very enemy that helped to make her into the dreaded Destroyer of Nations. Very well written, with a fascinating premise and great characterizations of the Xena and Gabrielle from that alternate world, this one is GUARANTEED to keep you hooked. XWP Fanatic is particularly excelling here in the depiction of the Xena/Gab relationship giving it a gentle quality that is deeply captivating in light of the Conqueror's inate harshness. Put this one at the top of your MUST READ list - it gets my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!! [Episode one in the SEVEN WONDERS SERIES] - 173 pgs., 7/16/98
FANFIC ART: Ciegra Story Cover

In this sequel to the stories EMBRACE and FREEDOM, the Conqueror takes the first step toward some semblance of normality in her new life with Gabrielle when she frees the young slave. Together, the two start off on a long and difficult road toward healing that will have Xena struggling to keep her darker impulses in check and Gabrielle fighting to overcome her fears as she sets out to help the woman she loves emerge from behind those walls around her heart. Meanwhile, enemies of the empire will challenge the Conqueror forcing Xena to once again taste the savageness of war and calling attention to the young woman who's quickly becoming the Conqueror's one vulnerable spot. The story features some very emotional moments as it continues a fascinating treatment of the relationship between these two women. If you enjoyed the earlier stories make sure to put this one on your list. [See the sequel DARPHUS' REVENGE] - 22 pgs., 2/27/00

The Conqueror would undoubtedly KILL Joanna in an excruciatingly painful way if she suspected just how much fun our parodist-extraordinaire had with her person in this story so lets none of us inform the Conqueror about this heresy and keep Joanna alive and well so she can continue to make us laugh. Meanwhile, sit back, keep those drinks away from any important computer parts, and enjoy this somewhat...different treatment of the Conqueror as her Supreme Heinousness attends to her noon crucifixion, never suspecting that she's about to go up against the mighty Abs of Redemption and some REALLY bad Beach Boys' jokes. An absolutely WICKED treat for our funny bones, this one comes VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 10 pgs., 6/27/00

BREACHING BARRIERS by C. Paradee -- [Alt]
Gripping new Conqueror story that has the feared empress suspecting that all is not as it should be in her realm. Determine to personally investigate any threats to the empire, the Conqueror decides to go among the people in search of dissenters and traitors. Meanwhile, in a small village a young healer named Gabrielle works hard to try to survive under the Conqueror's harsh regime, even risking death by maintaining a secret herb garden so she can have something to treat the sick with after Xena's soldiers come around for their usual tribute. It is while tending to that garden one night that her life is forever altered when she's discovered by none other than the Conqueror herself. Intrigued by the young healer, Xena decides to delay the usual punishment of death so she can look into the girl's claims of corruption among the soldiers. Thus begins an unusual friendship as the Conqueror finds herself loosing her heart at a time when she might just be loosing her empire and Gabrielle discovers the love of a lifetime in an enemy she once feared above all others. Featuring a nice depiction of the relationship and a suspenseful plot, this is an engrossing read. DO NOT MISS! - 95 pgs., 2/21/99
FANFIC ART: C Paradee Story Cover
[French version: LA BRÈCHE translated by Nathalie at http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Land/8379/tradsbis.html]

**COMPLICATIONS by Gin -- [Alt]
Gin continues the captivating tale she began in NEGOTIATIONS with a very promising new sequel that finds the Conqueror and the Queen of the Amazons now very happy trying to make a life for themselves in a world filled with responsibilities, and dangers and reputations to maintain. First up will be the challenge of a separation as Xena is called away to resolve problems in Chin and the young queen must try to deal with her loneliness amidst dangers that are much too close to home. Gin continues here imbuing the relationship between Conqueror and Queen with a wonderful mixture of tenderness, love and fierce passion. She crafts a well-written tale that includes a strong cast of supporting characters, some very surprising twists and some intriguing problems for our heroines to overcome. A worthy entry in the fascinating conqueror genre. DO NOT MISS! [See the sequel INVITATIONS] - 287 pgs., 11/17/98
FANFIC ART: "Conqueror Of The Known World" by Barbara Maclay

**CONQUEROR SERIES (THE) by L.J. Maas - [Alt]

  1. **JOURNEY'S END - [Alt]
  2. **PETAL OF THE ROSE (THE) - [Alt]
  3. **TIME'S FELL HAND - [Alt]

**CONQUEROR SERIES by Planet-solin - read in the order listed below. - [Alt]

  2. **HOME AGAIN - [Alt]
  3. **SURRENDER - [Alt]
  5. **FAMILY - [Alt]

One of our most gifted bards returns with her first foray into the world of Xena the Conqueror. Proving once again her skill at delivering some of the most original fanfic in this fandom, DJ brings us a clever twist on the Conqueror canon which begins with the Conqueror immersed in her typical brand of sadistic cruelty as she prepares her evening's entertainment but the Xena that awakens the next morning is a very different woman. With memories of having gone to sleep the night before with her beloved bard in her arms, Xena is utterly confused when she finds herself in a castle she does not recognize, surrounded by strangers all hailing her as the ruler of the known world - and no bard in sight. A harsher truth awaits her when she eventually comes face to face with her partner once again and has to accept the reality of what her life has been like in this alternate world - a life in which deadly enemies are her advisors, trusted friends are now her enemies, and the love of her life has become one of her many victims. Poignant and riveting, this is a very imaginative storyline with good use of the many recuring characters from the series and an intelligent, heroic portrayal of the Warrior Princess. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 91 pgs., 5/26/99
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

DARPHUS' REVENGE by C.J. Wells - [Alt]
CJ continues her Conqueror saga in this sequel to the THE ANTONIUS SITUATION which has the reality of who the Conqueror is and what her life is like testing the blossoming relationship between her and Gabrielle as never before. Aware that the Conqueror almost killed her friend Bahri and sensing that Xena's life will forever be immersed in darkness while she continues to revel in violence and revenge, Gabrielle tries to change the warrior without any initial success but in the process she embarks on a new life for herself that may ultimately motivate the Conqueror to reevaluate her own life. CJ does a good job here of bringing in an important part of Xena canon with the introduction of the Amazons into the equation. She also develops the characters further as Gabrielle finds a new sense of confidence and Xena confronts a will almost as stubborn as her own. Another entertaining entry in the series. - 29 pgs., 3/26/00

**THE EMBRACE 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. See the sequel THE ANTONIUS SITUATION] - 11 pgs., 10 pgs., 1/29/00.
AWARDS: "Constant Arousal" Swollen Bud Award (June 15, 2000)
EMBRACE - http://www.cousinliz.com/fanfic/cjwells_te.html
FREEDOM - http://www.cousinliz.com/fanfic/cjwells_f.html

**FALL (THE) by C Paradee - [Alt]
Intent on capturing the rebel leader who managed to escape her dungeons, the Conqueror leads the search only to soon find herself badly injured, betrayed by one of her own, with her empire at stake and dependent on the one person she never thought would offer her aid...the very rebel she was hunting. In the weeks to come, the distrustful empress will slowly recover from one fall only to experience an even more intense one - falling for a young woman she once hoped to destroy and learning along the way that the greatest victory of all is a conquest of the heart. C Paradee does a very nice job here developing the relationship at a gradual pace, imbuing it with an increasing sense of trust and respect. Solid writing and a compelling plot keeps you glued to the screen. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 58 pgs., 10/23/00

**FAMILY by Planet-solin - [Alt]
For those of you who've been waiting for this one as eagerly as I have - let me say the wait was WELL worth it! Planet-solin's latest addition to her Conqueror saga is another 3am'er. Start it early or you're going to be up well past that bedtime revisiting the Empress and her bard. This fifth installment in the series finds the two on their way to Poteidaia where Xena is going to leave the bard to celebrate her sister's wedding while she goes searching for her lost son. The journey starts off through the streets of Corinth where the innocent bard accepts a gift seemingly offered in gratitude. Unbeknownst to her or her fierce protector, there are forces at work all around them threatening the fragile happiness warrior and bard have found. In the days to come the Conqueror will fight a frantic battle to save the woman that has come to mean more to her than her very empire but the biggest battle of all will be with her own fears and doubts as she's forced to make a choice between accepting the impossible...or loosing the other half of her soul. Planet-solin has taken her two protagonists on a journey from being strangers in that first novel to what has become one of the most tender, moving and passionate interpretations of the Conqueror/bard pairing in XWP fanfic. It makes it even more poignant when this fifth adventure has them experiencing what is essentially an alternate version of the rift. Dahak, Ares, Callisto, Krafstar and other familiar faces are all cleverly incorporated in a plot designed to challenge the love between warrior and bard. The result is a tale with many of the same riveting elements the TV arc gave us but which honors the integrity of the characters and ultimately delivers a much more satisfying resolution. Make place for this one right at the top of your MUST READ list. It gets my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION! [Fifth entry in the CONQUEROR SERIES] - 94 pgs., 8/1/02

A clever on-going exercise in Xena fanfic, this series consists of stories told in 55 words. Ranging from traditional Xena yarns to ubers, general and alternative forays, funny and serious tales, the entries in the series make use of every word resulting in stories that run the gamut from cute to surprisingly thought-provoking. A fun new development in Xena fanfic DO NOT MISS!

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

**HANGING GARDENS (THE) by XWP Fanatic -- [Alt]
The second episode in the SEVEN WONDERS SERIES after Fanatic's extraordinary AFTERMATH: THE THREE OF LIFE this sequel continues the story of Xena the Conqueror and her lovely consort, Gabrielle, Queen of the Amazons as they travel to exotic Babylon home of one of the wonders of the Ancient World, the majestic Hanging Gardens. There to celebrate the anniversary of King Nebuharin's reign, Conqueror and queen begin to suspect the intentions of the crafty Babylonian ruler the minute they spot a Roman flag among the ships in the harbor. Joining the other rulers also invited to the festivities they soon learn of Nebuharin's plans for the historic gathering - only there are other plans afoot as well...ones which may endanger the Conqueror, her queen and the still fragile happiness they have found together. Fanatic continues here the very solid characterizations she established in the first story as she develops the relationship between a very dangerous, very driven, very smart Conqueror who is nevertheless pitifully ignorant when it comes to affairs of the heart, and a stubborn Amazon queen with a gentle soul, a wisdom that is often beyond her years and a keen understanding of those affairs of the heart. Establishing in the first few chapters what promises to be one heck of murder mystery, this tale surrounds the Xena/Gab romance with a terrific sense of suspense and intrigue. A MUST READ that comes VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! - 279 pgs., 3/6/99
FANFIC ART: Ciegra Story Cover

**HEALER (THE) by Katrina - [Alt]
In February 1998 Katrina started a new Xena fanfic genre with the release of the first-ever Conqueror story THE STORYTELLER which to this day remains one of the finest piece of fiction available on the Web. Now with the release of chapter one of THE HEALER Katrina begins a much-anticipated and already quite promising sequel. Set some months after STORYTELLER, this new tale finds the world marveling at the subtle changes that have taken place in the realm of Xena the Conqueror as the Empress has embraced a new way of governing, a new way of dealing with her subjects. Though at times still swift and merciless, the Destroyer of Nations is also now surprisingly just - more mindful of her human resources and less ready to resort to plain cruelty. It's a change attributed in part to the crippled scribe who's become a constant presence by the ruler's side - a change welcomed by many and despised by others - a change which has exacted a toll of its own on the once heartless Conqueror for in opening herself to the love of the young woman she once sought to kill Xena has now rediscovered a long-buried heart, making herself vulnerable in the process. Fighting outside forces and inner turmoil, the Conqueror will take them on a journey to see an old friend, on a quest for redemption and healing that may prove to be the greatest challenge yet for the fierce Warrior Queen as she endeavors to heal those scars that can be seen...and the deeper ones that cannot. Katrina does a nice job in this initial chapter of recapturing the flavor of THE STORYTELLER as she summarizes the events of that earlier story and starts us all on another wonderfully emotional ride. Nicely written and benefiting from Katrina's poetic sensibilities, this is DEFINITELY one to watch in the coming weeks. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! [Note: review based on a pre-screening of some additional chapters :) ] [unfinished] - 4 pgs., 12/15/99

A wrenching story about what could've been, this new offering is set in the world of Xena the Conqueror where the ruthless empress is observing the young dissenter she had crucified earlier as the girl struggles through her last moments. In that instant a whispered exchange offers a fleeting glimpse into one of those paths not taken, revealing the magnitude of a loss so great it will touch even the coldest of hearts. Some deeply moving moments in this one. [Note: Story contains S&M] - 8 pgs., 12/20/99

**HOME AGAIN by Planet-solin - [Alt]
The SPECTACULAR sequel to IF...THIS HAD BEEN THE BEGINNING picks up the story where the first one left off, with the Conqueror on her way to fight the Horde forces in the North, while back in Corinth Gabrielle spends time learning about her partner's government. These are lessons that will serve her well in the weeks ahead when, too lonely to stay in the palace without the Empress, she decides to pay a visit to Poteidaia. The fateful trip will unleash a series of events that will have the young bard making a heartbreaking choice between her past and her present and will have her embarking on a new adventure into Amazon territory where a new future awaits her. Meanwhile, Xena will be tying up several loose ends, dealing with enemies both outside and within her empire, all the while looking forward to a reunion with her bard. When ultimately that reunion is delayed, it is a VERY determined Conqueror who will go looking for the blonde storyteller, intent on destroying whoever has kept Gabrielle from her and about to realize just how much trouble the young woman can get into. Planet-solin gives us here an absolutely MARVELOUS re-working of the Xena/Gabrielle story we fist saw in the TV series, expertly weaving in many of the same major elements of the story but massaging them to better fit the Conqueror timeline and to develop further the captivating relationship between warrior and bard depicted here. These are two of the best characterizations of Xena the Conqueror and Gabrielle the bard I've ever seen. Planet-solin makes Xena a very appealing character despite the Conqueror's brutality - a warrior but also a woman in transition, rediscovering her humanity and reaching out toward an emotion she never thought she needed. Gabrielle is delightful - smart, sometimes foolishly brave, insightful and with that penchant for trouble that was an endearing hallmark of the character as she was first conceived in the TV series. This story DEFINITELY proves that sequels CAN be every bit as good as the original stories they're based on. Put it at the top of your MUST READ list folks - it gets my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION! [See the sequel SURRENDER] - 72 pgs., 6/18/00

**I, CONQUEROR by Sword'n'Quill - [Alt]
One of the most talented writers in Xena fanfic brings us her own version of the Conqueror in a SPECTACULAR story guaranteed to keep you on the edge of that computer chair. It begins innocently enough in the familiar world of Xena and Gabrielle as the two settle down in each others arms for a night's rest but in the morning things are very different for the young bard when she wakes alone to face a terrifying new reality - a reality without her beloved warrior where all of Greece and most of the known world are held in the grip of a ruthless Conqueror. It's a reality that has come to pass through the interference of a foe Gabrielle knows only to well. Charged with a mission to try to return time to its normal course, the bard will work to evade that foe but one confrontation she will not be able to avoid for her mission, her life and the fate of the world itself depends on it. The bard knows she must come face to face with the Conqueror and upon doing so she must then somehow find a way to reach the soulmate buried beneath those cold, royal trappings. SwordnQuil delivers here a masterful effort with first class writing, compelling characterizations and a gripping storyline. Her Conqueror is absolutely riveting - a NO-nonsense, brilliant, DEADLY warrior long-used to hiding even the barest hint of vulnerability. Her Gabrielle is gutsy and determined with a nobility that touches even the most jaded of souls and a staunch belief in her warrior that remains despite the extremes the Conqueror goes to test it. The Conqueror genre just keeps getting better and better guys :) VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 129 pgs., 2/9/00

**IF...THIS HAD BEEN THE BEGINNING by Planet-solin - [Alt]
Nothing satisfies that fanfic addiction quite like a good Conqueror tale and guys - this one is FABULOUS! In a departure from the more traditional Conqueror tales which usually have Xena and Gabrielle in an adversarial role following the canon established by the ARMAGEDDON Hercules episode that introduced this alternate reality, Planet-solin's story has the two becoming unlikely friends early on. An independent young woman determined to make her own way in the world, Gabrielle has cultivated a strong reputation as a talented storyteller traveling the countryside and earning the respect even of the Conqueror's own troops. Despite the relative peace the Conqueror's rule has enforced, however, life on the road can be a very dangerous place as the bard comes to learn one fateful day when she draws the attention of several ruffians. To her great relief, a stranger saves the day - a tall, beautiful warrior with eyes like blue steel whom Gabrielle is immediately drawn to and with whom she soon finds herself sharing frank opinions about the ruler of the land and the state of affairs in the Conqueror's realm. Having saved the girl while on her way to visit some of her troops, the Conqueror is both intrigued and unsettled by the young bard, knowing she should be outraged by some of the things Gabrielle is saying but feeling instead utterly charmed and surprisingly challenged by the insightful arguments. Reluctant to see any harm come to the young woman the Conqueror shadows her as Gabrielle goes on her way but in the days and weeks to come their paths will cross again as they continue to seek one another out - sensing a connection that transcends the impossibilities of a friendship between them and drawing the attention of those waiting to exploit whatever vulnerability surfaces in the life of the feared Destroyer of Nations. Planet-solin has drawn here two of the most compelling characterizations of Xena and Gabrielle in the alternate Conqueror time line I've ever come across. The Conqueror here is not a monster. She's an incredibly focused, driven warrior who's survived and built an empire by cultivating a fearsome reputation but underneath that cold exterior remains a yearning for the one thing power and wealth and victory have never brought her - a true friend. Gabrielle is an independent spirit with uncanny insight despite her innocence and an admirable drive to pursue her dreams no matter the odds. The relationship these two nurture is electric and sweet, funny and poignant, passionate and decidedly romantic. The first part of a planned trilogy, this tale establishes an engrossing premise guaranteed to keep you reading 'til the WEEEEEE hours if you start it late so plan accordingly :) A MUST READ, this gets my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION! [See the sequel HOME AGAIN] - 80 pgs., 6/13/00

**JOURNEY'S END by L.J. Maas
Marking L.J's first forays into the Conqueror genre, this FANTASTIC new story offers a twist on the traditional Conqueror tale presenting us with an older version of the Destroyer of Nations than we're used to seeing. In her mid-forties, L.J.'s Conqueror is a ruler who's now grown weary of the intensity and violence of her younger days. Still a remarkable beauty and still capable of the ruthlessness that carved out her empire, Xena is nevertheless now a warrior in transition - a woman who's learned that no amount of conquest or riches will fill the emptiness within. It is with little enthusiasm then that she prepares to inspect the batch of slaves offered by one of her governors, knowing she must choose one as the customary gift she usually accepts but now seldom uses...only this time a pair of frightened green eyes literally takes her breath away, awakening a compassion and protectiveness within the Conqueror she hasn't felt in years. In the days and weeks to come the feared Empress will find herself going out of her way to avoid frightening her young slave. Struggling against her own rougher edges and the pitiful submissiveness that has allowed Gabrielle of Poteidaia to survive years of servitude, Xena will work to return the dignity long stolen from the young woman, discovering in the process that the heart of a slave may just be the greatest treasure she ever wins. LJ is crafting here a truly exceptional tale, beautifully written, with poignant characterizations that both contrast and complement one another. The Xena and Gabrielle she presents us with here are on the surface very different women but they share a loneliness that comes from the extreme circumstances of their lives and a mutual empathy that gives them a unique insight into one another. Immediately compelling, this latest contribution to the popular Conqueror genre is certain to make it even MORE so. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! [See the sequel THE PETAL OF THE ROSE] - 200 pgs., 7/21/00

The Conqueror by L.J. Maas [untitled]
Gabrielle by L.J. Maas [untitled]
"Lord Conqueror" by Deb Kern

**LEADER (THE) by Storm - [Alt]
A very determined, courageous rebel leader and a Conqueror in transition combine to make this entry in the Conqueror genre a highly entertaining story about two very different women drawn together despite the adversarial roles fate has placed them in. The story opens with the Conqueror intent on torturing to death a captured rebel unless the former Amazon reveals the identity of the rebel leader. Before long the Conqueror finds herself facing a young woman named Gabrielle of Poteidaia who proclaims herself the rebel leader and fully expects the Conqueror to release the prisoner now that she has what she wanted. To Xena's surprise, the young woman is an intriguing puzzle - committed to a cause that opposes the Conqueror's rule and yet wanting to understand the Conqueror better - spiritually strong yet physical vulnerable - wise in some ways yet innocent in others - and most confusing of all - an enemy offering friendship. With nothing to loose, the Conqueror decides to keep the little rebel around for a bit never suspecting just how much an enemy will eventually come to mean to her or what a revolution of the heart Gabrielle is about to spark in the feared Destroyer of Nations. Storm presents us here with very likeable characterizations of our two heroines. The Conqueror, despite her steely, dangerous demeanor reveals a very human need for friendship and an honest desire to improve the life of those under her rule while Gabrielle's integrity and willingness to risk it all endears her to the reader. The story progresses at a nice pace developing the relationship in a believable way and keeping us totally involved in the intensifying drama. A great read. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 144 pgs.

**METAMORPHOSIS by Angharad Governal -- [Alt]
This bard's debut on the web comes with a very well-written story full of potential set in the world of Xena the Conqueror where the deadly empress is getting ready to extend her empire while a determined resistance looks for ways to stop her. Part of that resistance, Gabrielle is well aware of the woman's cruelty but convinced despite it that Xena's death is not the answer - not for their world...and not for herself. To prove it she's willing to risk it all - even the possibility of an agonizing death on a merciless cross. This is a riveting story with terrific characterizations and a very intriguing, carefully crafted storyline certain to entice even more readers into the genre. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! [unfinished] - 19 pgs., 12/31/98

NEGOTIATIONS by Gin -- [Alt]
This new bard's first fanfic piece is set in the world of Xena the Conqueror we saw in the Hercules episode ARMAGEDDON NOW. Gin takes some liberties with the story as presented in that episode, creating a world in which Xena has not yet conquered all though she's well on her way. Still to be vanquished is the proud Amazon Nation. Standing between the Conqueror and that particular prize is a Poteidaian turned Queen who having been rescued from slavers by the Amazon a few years back, now rules the Nation with a fierce protectiveness. To the amazement of her Amazon sisters, the young queen chooses not to fight the Destroyer of Nations but to reach out to her. It is a desperate gamble but one which Gabrielle must take, knowing as ruler just how deadly the Conqueror can be but remembering a five-year old who once saw a very different side of the Warrior Princess. Based on the premise that love can indeed conquer all, this story includes some clever tie-ins with regular Xena history and even with other fan fiction. [See the sequel COMPLICATIONS] - 33 pgs., 9/17/98
FANFIC ART: Ciegra Story Cover

**PETAL OF THE ROSE (THE) by L.J. Maas - [Alt]
The second entry in LJ's hugely popular CONQUEROR SERIES begins with the Lord Conqueror looking forward to the marriage that will turn her one-time slave Gabrielle into Queen of the Empire. It's a joyful time for the two as they get more comfortable in their relationship and as the young woman who stole the Conqueror's heart tries to put her past behind her to embrace her new role in Xena's life and the realm. One challenge immediately presents itself, however, when a visitor from the Centaur nation arrives - a very angry young man with a secret connection to the Conqueror and an attitude that could get him in more trouble than he could ever imagine. In the weeks ahead, Xena and Gabrielle will have to deal not only with this visitor but with a long-time presence in the Conqueror's life - a darkness which still resides within the warrior and which only the gentle emotions stirred by her betrothed seem capable of mitigating. LJ maintains the first person narrative style she used throughout the first novel giving us a keen insight into this very different Conqueror whose life is changing so much in her middle years. Her Gabrielle is also a very unique one - a young woman with a tortured past who nevertheless seems stronger for it, displaying an intelligence and quite determination that makes her a fitting partner indeed for the Conqueror of the known world. One to follow closely in the days ahead, this one comes VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 228 pgs., 2/3/01

PROMISE KEPT (A) by Willowluvyr
Willowluvyr brings us a very different type of Conqueror story here as the ruler of all the known world and a simple healer combine forces to bring a little peace and happiness to a young boy. Arm yourself with one VERY big Kleenex box before tackling this sensitively written tale featuring a fascinating character study of a very complex ruler. - 9 pgs., 3/15/00

**PROMISE OF TOMORROW (THE) by Planet-solin - [Alt]
One of the fandom's finest Conqueror series continues with this sequel to Planet-solin's SURRENDER which finds the feared Empress of Greece and her Amazon bard on the field during the final days of a fierce campaign again the Roman armies of Julius Caesar. It's a battle made easier on Xena's soul by the presence of the young woman who has come to mean everything to her. Together for a year now, the two have discovered in one another a love, a passion, a sense of trust and completeness neither has ever known before. That happiness will be tested in the months to come as insecurities plague the warrior who wants nothing more than to give Gabrielle everything in the world...but knows she can't quite do that. On her end, Gabrielle will have to deal with her emerging role as Amazon Queen and consort to the Conqueror, as well as with some powerful figures from Xena's past once again targeting the beautiful Empress of Greece. All the while, immortal hands are setting in motion plans of their own for warrior and bard - one based in darkness, the other in love - and both as equally capable of destroying them. Planet-solin's treatment of the Xena/Gab relationship is a pleasure to read with a Conqueror made so much more human through her love for another and a bard whose inner strength cements this partnership. The plot itself is INCREDIBLY compelling in that it is developing as an alternate version of the "rift" we saw in the TV series. Planet-solin will further that even more in the planned sequel to this novel. Most of the outstanding supporting cast from the first three books in the series return here once again giving us secondary characters who elicit our interest and make us care about them. One of those you'll gladly stay up 'til 3am reading, this is one for the MUST READ list guys. It gets my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION! - 82 pgs., 4/28/01

**RESISTANCE by Della Street -- [Alt]
One of my all-time favorite Xenite bards returns with a novel you WONT be able to put down!! Don't even try - resistance in this case is most definitely futile :) Set in the alternate world introduced by the two-part Hercules episode ARMAGEDDON NOW, this story puts a slightly different spin on things as it begins with Xena the Conqueror meeting with one of the dissenters recently captured by her soldiers - a seemingly harmless slip of a girl who despite her fear of the imposing ruler does not hesitate to spar verbally with her. It is a first meeting that leaves Gabrielle perplexed when the Conqueror doesn't immediately kill her, and leaves the Warrior Princess strangely intrigued by the beautiful little traitor. Unable to fight against the connection neither quite understands in the weeks to come the feared tyrant finds herself doing more and more to try to put a smile on Gabrielle's face, while the rebellious young agitator finds herself incredibly, against all logic, opening her heart to the very same warlord who once decimated her life. With elements of such classic romances like WEST SIDE STORY and THE KING AND I, this is a tale of two women from very different worlds who suddenly find themselves having to struggle against what others expect and demand when they can no longer deny the calling of their souls. It is also a story about a ruler imprisoned by trappings of her own making who finds in the love of a former enemy the strength to finally break the chains around her heart. With generous helpings of romance and the disarming humor that tends to add so much spice to Della's characterizations of the warrior and bard, this is a beautifully crafted, incredibly sweet, passionate tale that will have you breathing one heck of contented sigh when you're finished! Then if you haven't yet, go read Della's other stories for more of some of the best fiction the Xenaverse has to offer. RESISTANCE is OUTSTANDING folks! It receives my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!!! - 4/8/98

Nene continues her wonderful XENAVERSE FAERY TALES with a poignant story about a love so strong it can transcend time and accept the greatest of sacrifices. It is the story of how a desperate Gabrielle, intent on rescuing her beloved warrior from the clutches of Ares, travels into an alternate reality to try to return Xena to the world she knows. Only in that alternate world the Xena she meets is an all-powerful, very dangerous Empress whose icy heart the bard-turned-slave may never be able to reach. Emotional story, nicely written which also brings to mind images of the Xena we saw in the recent Hercules episode ARMAGEDDON NOW. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 4 pgs., 4/14/98

**SEVEN WONDERS SERIES by XWP Fanatic - read in the order listed below


**SHATTERED by Lariel
Not an easy read by ANY means but certainly a memorable one, this unusual Conqueror tale by Lariel is told from the perspective of a simple peasant woman, profoundly moved by the words she heard from a young dissenter condemned to the cross. Determined to deny the Conqueror this one victim, the woman gives shelter to the rebel named Gabrielle but the weeks to come will prove a struggle of their own as Gabrielle deals with both the physical devastation done to her body and the emotional devastation heaped on her spirit - all the while knowing that it's just a matter of time before the most powerful force in the known world finds her again - knowing the likely fate that will await her benefactor but unable now to eliminate the dream of freedom and humanity and self-worth that her own words have given rise to. A tribute to those with the courage to stand against injustice and cruelty no matter the personal cost, this is a deeply moving story about those battles that must be lost along the way in order to win the war. Solidly written and very thought-provoking, this one comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 12 pgs., 2/3/01

**STORYTELLER (THE) by Katrina - [Alt]
Set in the alternate world of the Hercules episode ARMAGEDDON, this fantastic new warlord/slave story is a powerful, intense, emotional piece that has the young agitator Gabrielle surviving the ordeal Empress Xena condemned her to on a cross. It is while suffering the pain of that torture that Gabrielle gains a sudden insight into how she may be able to change the ruthless empress - not by inciting the people against her, but by inciting a revolution in the woman's own heart. Determined to try even if it leads to her death, Gabrielle returns to the castle where the now crippled agitator turns storyteller and is soon telling her one-time enemy tales of heroes, of fighting for the greater good, and of a love that would change the world. Katrina's characterizations in this are beautifully multi-layered, presenting a Xena with all the power in the world and an aching emptiness within while her Gabrielle, despite a poignant outer frailty, is a storyteller of gentle heroism and steely determination. A very original, beautifully written story which touches all the right emotional buttons, this receives my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION! [See the sequel THE HEALER] - 2/22/98
[Palm Pilot version available at XENA FAN FICTION FOR THE PALM PILOT]

**SURRENDER by Planet-solin - [Alt]
The latest in Planet-solin's spectacular Conqueror series, this third tale finds a reluctant Conqueror and a reluctant Amazon Nation in the unlikely position of having to bargain with one another all thanks to the efforts of one...little bard ;-) No longer capable of denying her growing feelings for Gabrielle of Poteidaia, Xena is willing to make a truce with the race of warrior women, and with the bard-turned-Queen who thanks to some incredible circumstances now leads them. Having done away with some of the intrigue and conspiracies among her own troops, however, the Conqueror will now have to deal with a similar situation among the Amazons, for not all within the Nation look kindly on the new queen or the idea of peace with the Conqueror. Anxious to resume their relationship, the Empress and bard will first have to address a deadly threat to that peace and to their own happiness - a threat which may require something from Xena she's never given before and is not sure she can give. The Xena/Gab relationship here is increasingly charming with the two expressing fears and getting past those, no longer caring about previous roadblocks in their way, growing more confident about themselves and what they feel for one another. Planet-solin never depicts those changes as weaknesses but rather as strengths allowing these two women to better deal with the many challenges in their lives and to gain a new perspective on the greater good they're fighting for. A page-turner if I've ever seen one, this story keeps you riveted to the screen and looking forward to more from this gifted writer. Yet another for my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION list! [See the prequel HOME AGAIN and the sequel THE PROMISE OF TOMORROW] - 70 pgs., 6/18/00

LJ's popular CONQUEROR SERIES continues as the Conqueror and her beloved new wife prepare to go on a tour of the empire. With a deeper level of trust between them than ever before, the two will share painful memories as Gabrielle reveals a devastating secret and Xena recalls the events that led to her embracing a life of violence. Together the two will work toward healing those old wounds as they set off toward their childhood homes and Amazonia where a former slave will officially become queen of the Amazons. LJ's very distinctive treatment of the Xena/Gab relationship continues to make this series a delightful and touching one. Having achieved a much more solid sense of equality now, the relationship is not only passionate but both playful and emotionally intimate. With each other these two characters can let down the guards they've been forced to maintain most of their lives. A strong supporting cast and a compelling plot makes for another terrific addition to the series. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! [unfinished] - 44 pgs., 8/7/02

**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

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