Archive | September 2011

A Read of A Dance with Dragons – Part 42

Chapter 41 – Turncloak

It’s snowing at Winterfell. That’s good for Roose Bolton and not good for Stannis. Theon has his best opportunity to run but he’s scared to because of the game Ramsay played with Kyra. Arya is kept locked in her chamber, bruised and crying. Ramsay Bolton tells Theon he’s to keep her bathed because he wants her squeaky clean.

In the great hall, one of the washerwomen wants to know how Theon captured Winterfell. He’s too scared to tell her, fearing a trap. He wanders around the castle keeping away from others.

Lady Dustin’s men find him. She wants to see the Stark crypt. She tells him Roose isn’t happy about how sad Arya is; the northmen love Starks and they need to see her happy or they’ll break. The alliance is fragile. In the crypt they notice the three swords that Bran’s group took are missing. Lady Dustin says Brandon Stark took her maidenhead and she wanted to marry him. When Brandon was promised to Catelyn, her father had hopes of marrying her to Eddard, but Cat got him too. Then she married Lord Dustin and six months later he joined Robert’s Rebellion. He never came home. She is waiting for Eddard’s bones so she can feed them to her dogs.


I think there’s more in this chapter than I’ve picked up on. I don’t think the singers are who they appear to be. Surely Stannis is too canny to attack Winterfell straight on – after all he took Deepwood Motte by surprise.

The missing swords are the ones Bran, Jojen and Meera took. I wonder if anyone will work that out.

Daily posting

When I’ve finished the chapter by chapter review of A Dance with Dragons I’m going to post some thoughts on the process and what doing it has revealed to me.

One of those thoughts was that I like daily posting. But not in the sense of writing a blog post every day. What I like is seeing a new post on my blog each day. I write on the weekends and occasionally in the evenings and often what I will do is write a week’s worth of blogs in one go – except for the Thursday Things I have liked this week posts, which I tend to write on a Wednesday or Thursday.

Today I realised that I had no blog. Last weekend I did some worldbuilding for my new WIP, wrote a couple of blogs and then started re-writing a vignette which I plan to post on my DeviantART page. I think I intended to go back to blog posts but didn’t quite get there.

As I don’t have the time (I’m at work, on my lunch break), to find links to things I want to tell you about, or mess about with pictures, or have access to my notes on ADWD or the A-Z challenge, then you get this. Because I want there to be something new on this blog every day.

Now all I have to do is figure out what on earth I’m going to do once I’ve posted the review of the last chapter of ADWD. Any ideas?

A Read of A Dance with Dragons – Part 41

Chapter 40 – Tyrion

Tyrion is wearing wooden armour and riding a pig in a joust. The cog that is taking Tyrion and Jorah to Meereen is becalmed and the crew is on the verge of turning nasty. The dwarves are likely to take the brunt of it.

Tyrion and Jorah argue, with Tyrion talking truth about how Jorah is trying to use Tyrion to get back into Daenerys’ good books. He reveals that he knows that Jorah was spying on her and reporting back to Varys. Jorah thumps him and says he can’t sleep in their cabin any more so he’d best go fuck his dwarf girl.

Then a storm comes up. They were told the ship would never reach its destination and assumed that meant it would go to Meereen. It doesn’t. It meant they’re going to be wrecked.

The storm lasts for ages. Tyrion stays with Penny and her animals. She tries to kiss him but he puts her off as nicely as he can. He holds her to comfort her. When the storm is over the ship is wrecked, the mast is gone, and it’s sinking. The captain is dead and so is Moqorro. Tyrion wonders if he saw that in his fires. Some of the crew take the little boats and get away.

Soon they see a sail on the horizon. Jorah says it’s a slaver.


Tyrion’s having a bit of a riches to rags experience here, isn’t he? I’m sure it’s all character building. I like that he’s nice to Penny but he does have a bit of a white knight complex.

Is he never going to get to Daenerys? She needs him! Right now, I’m feeling like two more books isn’t enough to finish this.

100 Books in 2011: Pig Island

I’m getting pretty good at judging whether what I’ve got left of a book will last me to the end of my commute. Unless, of course, the train dies at an obscure little station that I normally never see because my train goes through it so quickly. Which is what happened a couple of weeks ago and my commute in the morning took me an hour longer than usual. Thus I needed a new book for the journey home and I went to the book drop at work (which is a brilliant thing to have) to find something to read.

As I’m now racing to catch up on the 100 Books in 2011 Challenge, I was looking for an easy read. Pig Island by Mo Hayder is certainly that. It’s a good five hundred pages but was quick to get through. Joe Oakes is a journalist who specialises in uncovering hoaxes of a spiritual or supernatural kind, after having been taken in by Malachi Dove when he was a young man. His girlfriend, Lexie, comes with him, thinking it is some sort of holiday.

Joe is investigating a video of a devil seen wandering around Pig Island, which is the home of a reclusive cult led by Malachi. When he gets to the island he finds Malachi has left the cult, lives on the other side of the island and keeps his privacy by means of an electric fence.

All the cultists are locked in their church and burnt and it seems like the work of Malachi. Joe goes to investigate and discovers that Malachi had a daughter. This daughter,Angeline, has a tail and appears to be frightened and fragile. Joe takes her back with him. Lexie, until recently a receptionist for a Harley Street plastic surgeon, recognises that what Angeline has is the remnants of a conjoined twin and thinks this will get her back in with her former employee.

Course, not that simple and Angeline turns out to be what everyone thought she was.

It was ok. Neither the characters, Joe or Lexie, are particularly sympathetic. Lexie, especially, is quite unpleasant. Joe seems ok until the point of view switches to Lexie and he doesn’t treat her very well. It wasn’t scary but it was nicely creepy in places with one or two genuinely shocking moments. The plot was handled ok but I could see the big reveal at the end coming from just after the halfway point. If you’re looking for brain candyfloss, this would be just the thing.

A Read of A Dance with Dragons – Part 40

Chapter 39 – Jon

Jon is sending Val north to find Tormund Giantsbane and make him an offer. He sees her past the Wall and she promises to return but won’t promise to bring Tormund back with her.

Jon returns to eat. Bowen Marsh, Septon Cellador and Othell Yarwyck want to see him. Jon asks how restoring the Nightfort is going. Yarwyck says it is going slowly so Jon offers him the help of the giant that came back with him from the woods north of the Wall. Yarwyck won’t accept. Then the three ask why there are corpses in the cells. Jon says they need to know their enemy and this is an opportunity.

Marsh, Cellador and Yarwyck complain that Iron Emmett and Dolorous Edd are being sent away and complain more about the people Jon is replacing them with – a wildling, Leathers, as master-at-arms and Satin, a boy-whore. They say these are positions traditionally given to the high born. Jon replies that he needs skills and what a man was before doesn’t matter once they’ve said their words.

Then he says they can talk about Val. They say he shouldn’t be making offers to the wildlings. Jon points out, rather forcefully, that every wildling left to die north of the Wall becomes an ice zombie that will attack them.


And I thought Jon was just being compassionate, but no, he’s trying to reduce his enemies forces. Clever boy. And he handled the whiners nicely. Bowen Marsh is really beginning to annoy me.

Maybe Jon shouldn’t be sending his friends away though.

Stories on DeviantArt

I have two of my short stories on this blog: Innocent, which was published in a now-defunct ‘zine, and Hell, which wasn’t published anywhere.

Both have moved over to my brand-new DeviantArt page, I’ll be posting more vignettes soon. I think I’ll also add the introduction to my new work-in-progress, Wormfeeder.

Things I have liked this week

Politics stuff
The entirely hilarious Men’s Rights Activist Marmoset. These are a couple of my favourites:

Writing stuff
The Bookshelf Muse is full of helpful and informative stuff. This week I particularly enjoyed this post about using frustration to ramp up your writing. 
Shopping stuff
I bought some clothes from an online store, Holy Clothing, and they are great. I love them. Go look at the lovely things now while the UK£ and US$ exchange rate is still good.