††††††††††††††† Cee's FanFic Reviews
T. Novan Stories
One of the Best Bards in the Xenaverse
I confess. T. Novan could write a grocery list, and I'd read it. And I'm sure it would be pretty damn good. Everything she writes is pretty damn good - or better. Usually better.
In my opinion, she's probably the best Bard in the Xenaverse. She's certainly one of the most prolific and one of the most diverse. Name a style, name a genre, and she's written it. She's written every type of classic Xena/Gabrielle story you can find: Hurt/Comfort, Episode Specific, First Time, Conqueror, Stand Alone Short Stories, Long Stories, Comedy, and a couple of terrific Xena/Gabrielle Series. She's also written every type of Uber and Original story imaginable.
Whatever your mood, whatever your frame of mind - TN's your gal.
Angst, comedy, romance, suspense - it doesnít matter. TN can create it and make it believable. It is a rare feat to be really good in one area of writing. Some writers are really good with sweeping romance. Others excel at action and adventure. Some are skilled at comedy. T. Novan is good at everything.
She also plays well with others. She has collaborated with some extremely talented bards to produce some of the best fiction around.
Here's a sample of some of her best work, starting with some classic Xena:
If you like classic X/G stories, TN's your gal. Her Raising Melosa series is fantastic.
Raising Melosa by T. Novan
Short Story Series - X/G
Raising Melosa is an incredible, sweeping series covering decades in the lives of Xena and Gabrielle as they raise their family. TN has created her own take on the characters, yet it still has the 'feel' of the TV series.† The series is† filled with angst and heartache as well as great humor and joy. There are creative plot twists, tender relationship moments, and sweeping action† - all very much like the TV series. There are well-developed† secondary characters, and a wonderful interpretation of the Xena/Gabrielle relationship and their future together. It's terrific, and without a doubt one of the best X/G series out there. Gets my highest recommendation.
There are also plenty of stand-alone pieces to keep you entertained:
The Sense the Gods Gave a Horse †by T. Novan
Short Story - X/G
The Sense the Gods Gave a Horse is an hysterical short bit† told from Argo's point of view,† as she puts up with a distracted warrior who is too preoccupied with her bard.† It seems Xena's horse is more insightful than she is, and it is up to Argo to help the warrior take the next step in her relationship with the bard. Very sweet and very recommended.
The Blessing by T. Novan
Short Story - X/G
The Blessing is a sweet little first time story that has our warrior and bard ready and willing to take their relationship to the next step. But Gabrielle is waiting until their union is blessed by Artemis. It will take some godly interference from Athena before that will ever happen.† A very loving, tender take on the X/G relationship and a nice bit of romance to brighten your day. Recommended.
You like your Xena stories to follow events from the TV series? TN can do that. She's written some wonderful stories that complimented or completed stories from the series. She's also written two wonderful post FIN stories that help bring closure to the series end.
Henbane, Horsenappings and Other Obstacles by CN Winters & T.Novan
Short story - X/G
This is a fun new story thatís about, well - henbane, horsenappings and other obstacles that Xena and Gabrielle must grapple with as they return to Amphipolis for a much needed vacation.† Set after the Season Six episodes ďThe Return of the ValkyrieĒ, this is an amusing, tongue-in-cheek look at the events of the last season. I especially loved the Eve and Virgil portrayals here: a preachy, annoyingly earnest Eve and a Virgil who is a lot like his daddy. Itís clever; itís biting; itís a whole lot of fun. Definitely recommended.
A Bardís Work is Never Done by T.Novan
Short Story - X/G
Another post Finale story that has a clever way of explaining it all away. It's also an interesting exploration of the relationship between the Bard and Xena, Warrior Beta Reader. T. Novan's stories are always entertaining, and this one is no exception. Recommended.
A Friend In Need: Part III by T. Novan
Long Short Story - X/G
Leave it to T. Novan to find a way to give us a happy ending to the series that makes sense and manages to explain some of the other big, unanswered questions we were left with. This story picks up where FIN II ended. Gabrielle has changed her mind about accepting Xena's choice to stay dead, and (with the help of an old friend) returns to Japa to make things right. T.Novan fills most of the gaping plot holes we were given in the original story and gives us an emotionally satisfying way to say goodbye. Highly recommended. (See other Finale story reviews on the Special Themes page)
Are Conqueror stories what you're looking for? Guess what? Yep, T. Novan has written one. This one's terrific:
Soul Searching †by T. Novan and Advocate
Novel - X/G Conqueror
Soul Searching is a great Conqueror story. I usually don't like Conqueror stories, but this one has a different take on the traditional evil Xena. Rather than an evil tyrant, we are given a woman who is trapped in the world she has created. She "escapes" from her own stronghold and ventures into a nearby village where she meets a young widow named Gabrielle and her son Jarrod.† Searching for a friend in her life, Xena is drawn to the young woman and her child and takes them with her back to her palace.† But back home, the conqueror has to deal with an evil, scheming Callisto who threatens to destroy her new relationship. We also discover that the conqueror is not as free as she wants to be. Callisto is conspiring with the God of War himself to keep Xena under his control and apart from Gabrielle. Soul Searching has nicely drawn characterizations and a sympathetic portrayal of the Conqueror. It's also action-packed and very well-written. This one comes highly recommended.
You like a little Uber with your Xena? TN can do that.
We Never Say Goodbye by T. Novan
Long Short Story - X/G and U
We Never Say Goodbye features the immortal reincarnations of Xena and Gabrielle in a modern time. This story is the first in a small series that gives us a creative exploration of how these two immortal souls might find each other time and again in a continuing cycle.† It's a unique interpretation of the true reincarnation theme. Recommended.
Are Uber and Original stories more to your liking? Well, you're in luck 'cause TN's written some good ones. Starting with a work that, in my opinion, is the best Uber/Original series I've ever read:
Exposure by T. Novan and Fanatic (with Tonya Muir)
Weekly Series - O/U
In my opinion, this is the best continuing series in the world of fanfic. I'm amazed at the consistent quality and creativity these bards exhibit every single week. "Exposure" follows the adventures of† TV news magazine reporter Kelsey Stanton †and her producer, Harper Kinglsey. Sounds tame enough, doesn't it? Heh! The series is laugh out loud funny, emotionally wrenching, sweet and romantic, often in the same episode. Each "season" is an emotional roller-coaster ride of near-death experiences and extended-family dramas. It is truly a delight to read and is often the highlight of my week. Screw "Friends" and "ER", this is the real Must Read Event of Thursday nights! Gets my highest recommendation. Available at MaryD's site, but subscribers to the mailing list get episodes without a delay and also get special bonus episodes. Note: this series has finished its weekly run, but future "specials" are possible.
Are you looking for a nice romance to brighten your day? You've come to the right place.
Road to Glory by Advocate and T. Novan
Novella - O
Two of the best bards in the universe have collaborated again, and they've come up with another winner. It's the story of a truck driver named Leigh, and a handywoman RJ, and a quirky, mysterious group of folks living in Glory. Road To Glory is an original and imaginative story with everything we've come to expect from these two writers: richly drawn characters, tense, emotional drama, and great humor. The story stands alone, but if you are familiar with Advocate's "Untitled: The Story of Me", you can rejoice: The squirrels are back! And this time they've got a feline nemesis named Flea. Very highly recommended.
Madam President by T. Novan and Advocate
Novel - O/U
T. Novan and Advocate are two of the best fanfic authors writing today, and they deliver again with their latest novel, Madam President. It is the year 2020, and† Devlyn Marlowe has just been elected the first woman President of the United States.† Author Lauren Strayer is the woman she asks to document her presidency and write her biography. Madam President is an entertaining story that follows the first year of President Marlowe's term. Devlyn is a complex woman - still grieving the loss of her first wife and trying to juggle the demands of being president with the demands of being a single mother to young children. Lauren has her own obstacles to overcome as she tries to determine where she fits into Devlyn's life† while trying to maintain her professional integrity as a writer as she finds herself getting more and more involved with her subject. The story is also filled with very plausible ideas about how technology will affect our daily lives in the not so distant future. An entertaining, satisfying read. Recommended.
Are historical dramas your cup of tea? Guess what? TN's got one of those for ya!
Full Boat by T. Novan
Novella - O/U
Full Boat is a wonderful period romance by the incredible T.Novan.† Morgan Delaney is a gunslingin' gambler. Gabrielle Stafford is a reporter with a eye for gunslingin' gamblers. There's great action and suspense in this fun story with a Western theme. A high stakes poker game, a riverboat of potential bad guys, and dead bodies. Sounds like a sure-fire prescription for fun, and it sure is! Definitely recommended.
What's that? You say you're a Sci Fi fan? By the gods, this is a diverse group! But fear not.TN can help you out.
The Claiming of Ford by T. Novan
Novel - O/U
T. Novan has come up with a new sub-genre of Xenaverse fic - the Uber Conqueror story! Claiming of Ford is also an inventive science fiction story. Set in a futuristic world, Garron Ford wins a battle and takes slave girl Marra as part of her conquest. The story is filled with inventive fantasy elements like serpentine beasts and characters with the gift of prophecy. We also have a richly detailed and complex society in which the rules for slaves and ruling family members are rigidly defined. But† Marra and Ford will break all the rules - and they will pay a price.† Claiming of Ford is an imaginative, original story that all sci-fi fans will love. Highly recommended.
And finally, how about a story that pokes fun at the entire online Xenaverse and fanfic readers and writers? (I told ya TN covers every conceivable genre - hell, she even makes up new ones to conquer)
You've Got Scrolls by Advocate, Fanatic, and T.Novan
Long Short Story - X/G
When you've got a story written by not one, not two, but three of the best bards in the Xenaverse, you can feel pretty confident that it will be entertaining. And You've Got Scrolls is absolutely hysterical.† Gabrielle joins a secret Amazon "scroll list" and soon becomes embroiled in all kinds of "online" drama - flame wars, cross postings, rule breakers, and plenty of large egos. Sound familiar? Anyone who has ever joined a mailing list or entered a chat room will laugh out loud at this story. It pokes fun at all of us - readers, writers, fans and online junkies. It comes very highly recommended.