When the Land is Dark






It’s been a long while. A long while since I have had a chance to absolutely immerse myself in a story with abandon. Honestly, I’ve had serious doubts as to the future of Xena fan fiction after the ending of the show. Most of the ‘old-school’ writers are not in the business anymore, and with the show gone, I wasn’t certain if people would feel inclined to continue drawing from it creatively, or just turn to, I don’t know, the "Witchblade" or some such nonsense.

But, and I am thoroughly ashamed to admit I have not been aware of this writer up until about a week ago, as long as people like Day continue writing, and writing this well, I shall put aside my worry, kick back, and just plain old enjoy myself.

So, without further ado (though I did want to tell you about this jacket I bought, but we’ll do that over coffee, ok?) – I am want to start singing praises to this work.

"When the Land is Dark" is an excellent, excellent Uber story set in a rather Orwellian future. The Council rules remains of Europe and parts of what used to be Asia. No countries remain, just areas of Council rule interspersed by wooded or mountainous patches controlled by the Organization, the rebel movement. Our protagonists are Jo Delaney, a survivor of the Neo Roma slums, the ultimate Uber Xena character, and Mickey Renault – you guessed it, the vivacious blonde.

The action is intense as we see the usual "relatively good" vs. "pretty damn evil" struggle, plot is tight and – seeing how we’re talking about a sci-fi piece here – quite believable, but, oh, my… Let me tell you about the characters. Please.

This story is of yet unfinished. However, according to Day, it is one of her priorities, and is being actively worked on, so fear not. Aside from which, there are already some 300+ pages out there for your enjoyment, so you won’t be aching for a new chapter just yet. What the author does allow for in such an ample offering, is time to develop not only intricate and very believable characterizations, but also one of the best relationships that I have come across. Seriously, not since I’ve read "Lucifer Rising" have I felt as much for the characters as I do here.

You may think you know, firsthand, all about lesbian drama. Oh, trust me, Day here will give you a few pointers. Now, I am not talking about maudlin, overbearing, ‘let’s-club-you-over-the-head’ kind of stuff here. No, we are talking about characters that are intricately woven and very fucked up, yet quite loveable and extremely believable. As such, can you blame them for having a rather angsty relationship? I mean, as if that’s not enough, add to the whole mix a crap-load of suspense, death-defying situations and longing, and you’ll get a hint.

The crafts(wo)manship at play is astounding. I am loath to admit this, since I’m embarrassed I was not aware of it until recently. But I live, and so I learn. And if you are also one of the ignorant, start walking towards the light. Or just click the link below. Oh and – please – thank Day. And beg for more. Come on, I know you’re not above it.

When the Land is Dark