Reviews for Man of Rome
ivo1617 chapter 10 . 5/11/2012
Well I am seeing more and more dark Gabby stuff. Now it's what she wrote on the sign over the bodies of the dead Romans. And then she is actually talking about people who don't need to remain alive. And to add insult to injury, Gabby is actually cussing now.

It seems that Gabby is going to have to go through her own journey in Dual Nature. We talked about how Gabby seems to have her own life here, but she is going through some changes kind of like Callisto. I mean she won't turn to evil or anything like that, but she is going to be a different person at the end of all this. Now the big question is whether or not Xena and Herc are going to change any?

The part where Xena was talking to Gabrielle about killing and how to deal with it was very well done. Xena was really speaking from the heart.

Aphrodite's plans at the end seem a bit naive. Gabby is going through some stuff now, but I think that she's still unlikely to take the kind of offer Xena gets from Ares on a weekly basis. Plus I have always thought that Xena makes an effective villain, but I can't say the same about Gabby.

I did not know that readership was a word.
ivo1617 chapter 9 . 5/11/2012
Oh man, no witty disclaimer?

I was moderately surprised by Xena's reaction when she found the pit, because she did not seem to know about it. I know that she did not see it when she came, but with all the death she has seen I figured that Xena would know what she would find in that pit. Plus she smelled it on her way to Gabrielle.

I guess this is some of the darker Gabby stuff that you've been telling me about. Smacking people on the head with her staff and branding them is not her typical behavior.
ivo1617 chapter 8 . 5/8/2012
This is an obvious chapter name for a Xena story in general and yet you're the only person who has used it (to my knowledge). Go figure.

Now it's pretty clear why Xena just keeps leaving Gabrielle behind in DN2. I am actually going to have to side with Xena here. Even if Gabrielle is doing better down the line, the current situation is just THAT bad. I mean I had not forgotten what happened in this story, but it took me until now to put two and two together. I guess I was rushing too much the first time I read this story since I was trying to get to DN2 to see what this business about an evil Hercules was all about.

This chapter adds insult to injury for Gabby since Xena has figured out how she got captured. Chances are Xena also put two and two together and figured out what happened with Gabby telling her in the end.

I wonder if Xena would have been on time if Gabby did not manage to bite Brutus' lip off. Gabby actually had to hold off a knife attack from Brutus and his gushing lip probably slowed him down. There might be some irony to the title of this chapter since Xena would have been just late if Gabby did not save herself.

Gabby must be truly traumatized at the end with all the death that she has just seen. She has always had a lot of trouble dealing with death and even killing Brutus might be too much for her.
ivo1617 chapter 7 . 5/3/2012
Actually I don't think there's a lot of angst in your stories.

This chapters was a reality check for Gabby since she got captured way too easily. There wasn't even a fight. And even though she overcame Brutus at the end of the chapter, that's only one Roman down and many more to go.

I did not get why Gabby had that dream or flashback at the beginning of the chapter.

Gabby can definitely hold a grudge. She is getting beaten, but her argument with Xena is still the first thing on her mind.

It's hard to tell what Brutus' opinion about what his soldiers did is. Is he trying to make himself feel better by saying he did not partake or is he simply lying about that. It's a little hard to believe that he did not partake based on what he tried to do towards the end of the chapter.

Here, like it was on the show, Brutus seems to have turned into quite a vile little man after Caesar's death. While before Caesar's death Xena and Gabby were at least able to tolerate him.

Regardless of the aftermath of Gabrielle stabbing Brutus, she basically had no choice. I could really feel how Brutus' intention changed at the very end of the chapter. Gabby was about to be killed. She got out of it, but that was way too close for comfort.
ivo1617 chapter 6 . 5/3/2012
I might be slipping since this is the second chapter in a row that I don't have much to say about.

It seems that parenting (or at least tough love) is one of Xena's many skills. And this is the second time she has had to deal with disobedience in this story.

I don't know what to make of the end of the chapter since I'm not sure how much darker Gabby would be if she gives in to her impulses. I mean we're talking about little kids here. This might drive even that goody-two-shoes hero from the other show over the edge.
ivo1617 chapter 5 . 4/30/2012
I don't know how much of a commentary I can give for a graphic chapter like this. Whatever innocence Gabby still has, it's gone now. While reading future updates, I am going to have to remind myself that Gabby has been through a lot more than usual. Still given how cheery Gabby can be on the show, I sometimes forget that she has had to deal with tragic events like the death of her husband and this whole rift deal in season 3.

You did a good job describing Gabby's emotions after she lost her cool. The difficulty of this situation goes beyond the grief that Gabby is feeling. If she is going to get to Brutus, she will have to keep her concentration enough in order to deal with all the other Romans.
ivo1617 chapter 4 . 4/30/2012
I have a hard time figuring out Aphrodite place in DN. (And I have to admit that I am looking forward to the first 40 chapters of DN2 as well.) As a new god(dess) of war, she seems to have her own agenda, but is she anything more than one of Chaos' minions? Also with everything else going on, we have not really had a chance to see her very much. As of the latest update of DN2, I still don't know what exactly Chaos did to her in DN1 and why it has not worn off.

Call me crazy, but it seems that some of the things that Xena had said to Gabrielle are not entirely unjustified. Gabby seems to be have adopted the I will show Xena way of thinking and that's pretty dangerous when she is about to deal with an entire Roman army (or part of an army) all on her own. The events of this story are probably taking place during what would have been season two, so Gabby does not have that much experience fighting. She is also a regular human being - she does not fly through the air, catch arrows, and display the occasional bit of superhuman strength.

I have to give you props for doing a good job of portraying season two Xena. My first thought is that Aphrodite should not have been too much trouble for Xena, but season 2 Xena cannot fight gods. I mean we even had that whole Velasca and Callisto episode that might have been the highest rated episode the show has ever had. Though it might be too early for Xena to use the I've been hit like that before line since we're still in season 2.

You have also done a good job portraying Xena's love for her horse. I actually think that early on Xena had a higher opinion of Argo than she did on Gabby.
ivo1617 chapter 3 . 4/22/2012
It seems that Xena has dug quite a hole for herself. She cannot afford to argue with Gabrielle since there is always someone who's out to get them. Now she has to travel alone to Thrace and she might not get to Gabrielle on time.
ivo1617 chapter 2 . 4/22/2012
Well now you would have another dollar since I've reviewed chapter one as well.

Xena's choice of words to describe Brutus' relationship to Caesar was interesting. (Though I have heard more vulgar descriptions of the same thing.) There seems to be a lot of bitterness there on Xena's part and it seems that this is not all about the Amazons from Thrace. After all, this is not the first time Xena has had to deal with an attack on a village and her determination to get there is unusual. Could part of her be upset that she missed out on killing Caesar?

The tough ride Gabby has been seems to be continuing. After dealing with Chaos' stuff and with losing her family, she has to take a bunch of verbal abuse from her best friend. I think Gabby will be able to get through it, but she might be a much more hardened person in the end, a different person.
ivo1617 chapter 1 . 4/20/2012
You did a good job of giving a through review of DN1 in just two paragraphs.

Xena and Gabby both seems all business at the beginning of the chapter. I can't blame Gabby for not being able to talk to Callisto too much, but hey she is trying and that's gotta count for something. It was surprising how little time Xena spent seeing her son - she was back by the time the short and awkward conversation between Gabrielle and Callisto ended.

It was nice for Joxer to get a mention. We have a little bit of symmetry here since he tried to take care of Xena's horse a couple of episodes after Callisto returned. And he also took care of Argo towards the end of season 5. (Though the whole Argo 2 idea was kind of silly.) I wonder how Joxer will factor in Xena and Gabby's journeys in this altered world. If he shows up, Gabrielle will probably beat him up within 3 chapters.

How exactly did Pompey take over Rome? I mean I realize he made an attack and won, but how was the situation in Rome affected by what Chaos did? Also I was hoping that we would hear a little more about Caesar since he was one of the biggest villains on the Xena show.

I am surprised that Xena did not try to go to Thrace alone. She would probably have to face a bunch of Roman soldiers and this seems like the kind of situation in which she would try to leave Gabby behind.
Phineas Redux chapter 10 . 3/11/2011
A very tender insight into Gabrielle’s mind and feelings at the climax of this tragedy. Let’s hope Xena can help her heal and recover, in time.
HAZMOT chapter 10 . 3/5/2011
We know that Gabrielle will be forever damaged by seeing such brutality invoked on those young Amazons. Their deaths were a turning point in Gabrielle's sight on the world. Luckily Xena is there to guide thru this pain. No one could understand such atrocities better than her. If Chaos's plan is to mess with Gabrielle's head, then it's working quite well. The fact that Herucules is making enemies on all fronts, especially with the Olympian gods. It seems there will be no happy ending if Chaos is able to be stopped. Casualties are piling up and it seems to be no end to the violence and war. Maybe there is hope in an unknown corner of the universe. Maybe. :D
Stardawn19 chapter 10 . 3/2/2011
I very moving chapters, probably one of the most emotional and real images that I've seen you write. It was very moving and so in character I could have seen it in a episode. Very nicely done.
Phineas Redux chapter 9 . 3/1/2011
An intensely painted and deeply felt sequence of events that really hit the reader and make them think. Excellently described and written.

The dominant note in your writing is its power; in character, setting, and action. The people you portray, including Xena, Gabrielle and all the Gods, are always certain and definite in their aims and purposes. They know what they want.

The settings you place your characters in are always strongly drawn with forcefulness and precision, so that the reader has no difficulty in mentally visualising the landscape. Your action scenes are imbued with a powerful liveliness and energy which grab the reader’s imagination and show panoramas of a grand guignol intensity.

Your writing is sharp, positive, and decisive in nature and colour, giving the reader an exciting ride for their money they don’t quickly forget. Your stories have a potent command and surety of handling which give a reflection of the original atmosphere of the best of the episodes.

Altogether exciting, dramatic, and enthralling writing which grips the reader and holds their interest in the characters and story till the end.
HAZMOT chapter 9 . 2/25/2011
I was not surprised at Gabrielle wanting revenge and both Xena and Gabrielle gave the Roman soldiers less than I think they deserved. The herendious murders of those poor Amazons and the young innocent girl was beyond anything Gabrielle could ever want to see in her life span. Xena understood this, but Gabrielle took this personal. For them to live with the mark of being murderers was leanient. Gabrielle will never forget the cruelty given thos Amazons and will carry that guilt for the rest of her life. :D
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