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 7/28/97]

Hey guys!

I am going to have to invest in a quality thesaurus so I can continue doing these reports because I am simply running out of accolades to describe the talent of our bards or the excellence of their stories. Tonight's report is filled with gems that will delight even the most critical reader - just outstanding fiction!

Before we get to the reviews, however, I need to announce that there's a new XWP fan fiction site now available - Kiva Sulderus' XENA FAN FICTION PAGE featuring the works of Scot Carpenter and ProudWarrioress. The site is located at:

Now, here are tonight's story selections.


THE HOLY WAR by ProudWarrioress
It is the general concensus among fans of XWP that one of the finest episodes of the series to date is THE PRICE. While introducing in the Horde the best new villanous force since STAR TREK'S "The Borg", this episode revolved around the two defining aspects of the show - Xena's dark side and the extraordinary friendship between a former warlord and a bard. ProudWarrioress newest tale is a novel which inspired by THE PRICE goes way beyond the episode in terms of scope, creating a story of such magnitude and such impact that it can only be described as a saga of epic proportions - a blockbuster of XWP fan fiction. Already quite lengthy, this story is till not finished and promises to go on for quite a while. You will thank the gods for this when you start reading THE HOLY WAR because you are not going to want to put it down, you are going to want more, and you are quickly going to realize that what you are reading is something very special from a bard that could easily compete with the best commercial authors publishing today. Set after the events in THE PRICE, this novel begins ominously with the thoughts of a warrior as he prepares to go to war - not an ordinary warrior but a leader among men - a warrior getting ready to unleash the greatest terror Greece has ever known as he leads his army on a holy crusade to recover the Chosen One promised long ago to his people - a prophesy Telmark, Supreme Commander of the Horde, is determined to see fulfilled at any cost. It is this new and deadly threat which Xena and Gabrielle find themselves facing when they join the massive army of several allied Greek City states preparing to do battle with the Horde. At the head of the army is Marmax, the commander from the episode IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE who thanks to Xena and the bard found peace for his own people but now must fight a battle for the very survival of Greece. Despite their mounting fears, Xena and Gabrielle agree to help the allied force and soon find themselves in a familiar situation - heavily outnumbered, facing savage Horde warriors - with little hope of survival. For Xena the solution is to start awakening the darkness within herself and to try to make sure Gabrielle is safe but what the Warrior Princess never suspects is that once again she is spending too much time trying to fight the Horde without considering what their motivations could be - what they want...or whom? This story truly has the feel of great film epics like SPARTACUS or the more contemporary BRAVEHEART. The battle scenes are so well-written and so carefully choreographed that they stand out vividly. ProudWarrioress' depiction of the Xena/Gab relationship, as in her other stories, is one of deep friendship, loyalty, sacrifice and unquestionable commitment. She uses a shifting point-of-view technique that gives us a very thorough insight into the minds of both our heroines and their enemy. This story is an experience you will not soon forget. A MUST READ for every Xenite, it carries my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!!


THE AEGIS by Rachel2
After a hiatus of several months, Rachel2 is back on the Web and she returns with a FANTASTIC new Mel/Janice story. Rachel2 has been among my favorite bards since she began writing - showing incredible originality in her stories and the ability to weave tales that truly captivate. In the THE AEGIS she displays these skills quite handedly, bringing us a new and wonderfully clever treatment of the Mel and Janice characters and of their relationship in a story that also features Xena and Gabrielle, tons of action, humor, suspence, a touching romance and the beginnings of an undying friendship. In the first two chapters which are now available the legend of The Aegis is revealed - Zeus' great shield, strong enough to stop even a thunderbolt from the King of the Gods himself and as such coveted by those seeking power...and revenge. In Ancient Greece, Xena and Gabrielle become reluctant pawns in a deadly game between immortals for the right to wield the shield. It is a game that will bring them face to face with an old enemy while forcing them also to confront unresolved issues still between them. Eons later, in a time beset by a terrible war and ripe with danger, Mel and Janice will continue the struggle their ancestors began as they search for the mythical shield and also have to confront unresolved issues between them. Exceedingly well-written, this tale offers a really unique approach to the combined portrayals of Mel/Janice and Xena/Gabrielle. The remaining chapters will be made available in the coming days and are a MUST READ! This is a tale that holds a lesson for us all and which I VERY HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!

BOUND by Melissa Good
Rejoice fan fic fans! - Having just finished one of the best XWP stories this reader has ever read, HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS (reviewed 6/28/97), Missy is back with a sequel and yet another SOLID winner! BOUND picks up where HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS left off - having left Potidaea behind, Xena and Gabrielle decide to go back to the land of the forest dwellers they first met in WARRIOR BY ANY OTHER NAME. They want to see their friend Jessan but there is something else drawing them back to those unusual people - a need now to understand the strange bond some of the forest dwellers share with each other - a connection they call the lifebond - a connection Xena and Gabrielle now know they also share but need to understand. Prepare yourself for some FANTASTIC edge-of-your-seat reading in these first two parts of the story as the warrior and her bard are challenged by a harrowing ordeal on the way to Jessan's village - a tragic development which could very well separate the two forever just as they've begun to understand the depth of their feelings. Although still not finished, this tale is clearly of the same caliber as all of Missy's stories to date featuring exceptional characterizations, a poignantly romantic treatment of the Xena/Gab relationship, an intriguing and well-structured plot, and the return appearance of one of the most beloved original characters in XWP fan fiction - Ares the wolf pup (Roo!! :) I have it on good authority that Missy is being heavily pressured to start a fan club for the little mut (we want paw prints!!) A Missy story is a magical experience NOT TO BE MISSED people. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! Note - this story is not explicit so far.

Part 11 of this story is now available. Note - the story is also available in subtext-lite and subtext-explicit version. Baermer's latest continues the tale begun in her excellent THE ELEUSINIAN MYSTERIES (review at Set in an epic period of Ancient Greek history amidst the saga of the Peloponnesian War, this is developing into a HECK of a story! In the latest installments, Xena and Gabrielle are reluctantly drawn into the political power struggles taking place in Athens as their enemies decide to teach them a lesson. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! First reviewed 7/16/97.

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-)