Let’s Read A Game of Thrones! Part 17: Eddard 3

Good morning, people. No time to hang around, let’s get right to it!



No!… Or rather, what do you want now?

Book Spirit: What’s going on around here? What happened to the landscape, and why are you in such a hurry?

…didn’t you see the note from my <<other self>>?

Book Spirit: No…

Hmph. Long story short, instabilities in that world lead to instabilities in this one. I have to hurry and do this job, so I can go back to holding the Gate shut.

Book Spirit: Isn’t that…really bad?

Yes, it is, so please don’t distract me. Ok! We’re already late, so here is this week’s chapter!

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So, what can I say?

Hey, this is Dan Moncur, the human behind the Dark Jackel. He’d claim that he’s the one behind me, but whatever.

Last week, pretty much the day my last post went live, I was handed a piece of rather bad news. As a result, I am now looking for paying work. Such is life.

I spent the week since then polishing my resume, and considering whether to change the direction of my career. (Short conclusion: yes, if at all possible.) I had still intended to get the post for this week done, of course, and just before I sat down to write, I decided to drive to the gas station and get some cheap coffee.

And then the starter battery in my car died.

In a way, this was very fortunate; the next person due to leave was my wife, and we would have really been scrambling if she had learned that she needed a ride just before she had to leave. On the other hand, it does mean I had to spend hours tracking down the proper sized battery for my car, instead of writing for this blog.

And so, the next chapter of A Game of Thrones won’t go live til tomorrow. Sorry about that. Also, due to the aforementioned work situation, I most likely won’t get my review of the Acts of Caine up on Sunday. I’ll try. But I’ll probably fail.


Abject apologies aside, thank you for reading my insane, inane ramblings, and I hope you find them somewhat amusing. Oh, and go read some of the Unshaved Mouse‘s stuff, he’s been involved in some interesting things lately. Like VR.

Yours, Dan.

Let’s Read A Game of Thrones! Part 16: Sansa 1

Ugh, the post editor changed. Just what this week needed… Ah well. Good morning, potential readers. Today I’m supposed to —



Ah, the book spirit. Where have you been?

Book Spirit: No…nowhere. Is that…thing…here?

That ‘thing’? There’s a lot of ‘things’ here, which do you mean?

Book Spirit: That one that looks like a jackal, but isn’t. It’s really scary…

Ah, Fang of Shadow. He’s not so bad, really.

Book Spirit: …really?

Well, from a certain point of view. Anyway, as far as I can tell he’s not here. Nearby, though.

Book Spirit: That’s not very comforting.

Eh. He’s a conceptual being, what can you do? Anyhow, if I could get back on track, I’m supposed to be summarizing Sansa Stark’s first POV chapter today.

Book Spirit: “…supposed to be…?”

Well, I really, really, don’t want to. Honestly, the whole thing is painful to read, and the precursor of tragedy after tragedy. And as I believe I mentioned, I despise tragedy.

Book Spirit: So you’re going to quit!?

…you seem a little too excited.

Book Spirit: But if you give up attacking the story, I can go home!

Huh, really? Where is ‘home’, exactly… Nah, forget I asked. No, I’m not just not interested in summarizing this chapter.

Book Spirit: But that means that your qui–

So you do it.

Book Spirit: …huh?

I’m going to go find something to eat, I’ll be back by the time you’re done.

Book Spirit: Huh!?

Have fun now. 😀

Book Spirit: …

Book Spirit: Wait wait wait! I can’t… I’m not… You can’t…

Book Spirit: Come back!

Um, how do these start now…?

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What Would I Rather Be Reading? III: The Chronicles of Elantra

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who was growing up in a slum inside, but separate from, the city of Elantra. But that was a long time ago, and now that little girl is a young woman now, living in the city itself, working as one of its guards. But her past still haunts her in many ways, for she has a special power, coveted by many, including the ruler of the slum of her birth, and by a being living in the lost heart of the city…


Last week, I stated that I prefered the world-building of Michelle Sagara to that of Brandon Sanderson. I would like to clarify: Sanderson is definitely the most original writer of the two, or rather, his worlds are more original than the one presented in the Chronicles of Elantra. (I have read another series by Michelle, The Sun Sword, in which the world is more original. A good series, but not today’s focus.) But despite being somewhat more common, albeit with a few good twists, I like the Elantra books for one specific reason: the world-building, from the perspective of the reader, is the most organic possible. Continue reading

Let’s Read A Game of Thrones! Part 15: Catelyn 3

Good evening, and welcome to another edition of “Let’s Read A Game of Thrones!” I’m your host, the Dark Jackel. And joining me will be…

…well, nobody. Huh. That book spirit thing wandered off somewhere, outside my sphere of influence. I sent Fang of Shadow to follow it, since it was acting weird. Ah, Fang of Shadow is, um, some kind of a freelance minion. Sort of? Unlike me, he actually does take the form of a jackal, sometimes. Well, I suppose I could, but my name is confusing enough without adding questions of appearance. Anyway.

The jackals, the real ones, are playing over there. I could call them over here, but they don’t really have a lot to add to these reviews, so I think I’ll just let them play.

As long as no one is pressuring me to get to my review, I guess I could say a few words about here. This…is my world, the shadow of the Gate. It is related to the human world in metaphorical ways, which is why it is possible to be living here and maintaining a separate existence there at the same time. If you were to ask me which version of me is real, I would have to say “this one.” Hope that clears things up for you.

Behind me lies the Gate (insofar as there is such a direction.) It doesn’t have a fixed appearance, and it will look different to you than it does to me. Many people choose to cross its threshold of their own accord. It’s not really a good idea, as once you walk the path of Tragedy you will find it quite hard to escape. I will warn those who can hear my whispers in the shadows, but many are too desperate to heed. Such is life, I suppose.

In a roundabout way, this brings me to today’s chapter, wherein Catelyn Stark does her level best to throw open the Gate of all Tragedy, all by herself. Well, since no one is here to complain, let me try something a bit different, and be a little less formal with the summary. I doubt that I will permanently change my style, but let’s see what happens.

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Let’s Read A Game of Thrones! Part 14: Tyrion 2

Hey, alleged readers: do you like video games? Ever played anything in the “Tales of…” series? You should. I’m currently playing the latest, Tales of Zesteria, and it’s pretty good. I don’t like the battle system as much as the previous game (or rather, the two previous games) but I’m giving it time to grow on me.


Does this have anything to do with my review?

Not really, no.

Book Spirit: …Can I take it that you really hated another chapter, then?

Actually, no. I just don’t have a lot to say to preface this week’s chapter. I’m somehow still waiting for Tyrion to disappoint me, but it seems that time is not yet.

Book Spirit: Do you mind just starting, then, rather than going off on tangents?

I don’t think it really qualifies as a tangent, seeing as I have no intention of drawing parallels between the Tales games and A Song of Ice and Fire…actually, that might actually work. I should think about that.

Some other time.

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What Would I Rather Be Reading? II: Mistborn

In the beginning, there was Adonalsium, who exploded. Sixteen shards of his power fell into the hands of other people, who used them to make different worlds singly and together. Since each shard was different, the worlds they created had different magical systems, with a few common themes. Then, because With Great Power Comes Great Insanity, the shard bearers were corrupted by their shards and eventually became caricatures of their own power. So it goes.

And the best part is? You don’t need to know any of that to enjoy any of the books in the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson.


Yeah, like this one.

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