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Journey to the City of Endless Night: Chapter Seventy-Nine



I release this new chapter with sadness. David Eddings has passed away at the age of 77.

When I was fourteen years old, I stumbled across his series the Belgariad rather by accident. It was January of 1997, and due to the blizzards, I almost never had school. I made a trip to the library and checked out the entire series, at which point I proceeded to read them. I think I really connected to it when I was that age because that's the base age Garion starts at when the adventure really takes off. The characters were fleshed out---even to the point that they had flaws, which is something I have always found to be a bit lacking to a degree in the Tolkien universe of Lord of the Rings. The story had plenty of intrigue and comedy. It basically kept me from suffering from severe cabin fever. Sure, I couldn't go anywhere physically due to the snow and extremely frigid temperatures, but I was going somewhere in the story.

Since then, I've re-read the series more times than I can count. Sure, now that I have a BA in Creative Writing, it's not high literature or anything, but it is a good story and that's all I really wanted from it in the first place. I find the world to be rather real, the characters almost like old friends, and the plot well done. It may not be worthy of Pulitzers or Bookers, but who cares. Not every story or book one reads need be the finest piece of literature ever written. Sometimes it's just nice to escape into a fantasy realm and let it take you places that you could never go on Earth. Eddings always referred to the map he doodled as the “Place that Never Was,” and while that's true, it does exist---if only in our imaginations.

I've read various criticisms of The Belgariad/Malloreon series as being a bit repetitive or too bogged down in some of the same inside jokes and the like, but I just don't agree or see what they're saying---at least not really. I guess it's because I feel like I'm in on it somehow. Trust me, if you read the series enough times and find that you enjoy it that much, you'll understand what I'm saying. I also find a lot of the criticisms a bit off base, but maybe that's just because I understand the difference between genre fiction and literature. That difference drove me wild at college, by the way. Technically no piece of writing is truly free of genre constrictions, but there IS a difference. Pick up Beloved by Toni Morrison and you'll understand. Personally, I think too many people expected far too much from the series than it could ever deliver, due to its genre confinements. No matter how much it changed or went off script in fantasy genre fiction, it still had a bit of a template it had to follow. If you get frustrated by this fact in genre fiction, then don't read it. You will be disappointed.

I started Journey over four years ago now because I wanted to see the collision of the Inuyasha characters with the Belgariad/Malloreon characters. I think it has largely been a success. Would I consider it a literary masterpiece? Good heavens no. Would I consider it a good story? You bet. When I started, I most certainly knew the Belgariad gang much better than I did the Inuyasha cast---and yet I have chosen to write the entire story from the Inuyasha character's POV, go figure. When I re-read the earlier chapters (anything from chapter 1 through about chapter 40, especially) I see where I flubbed or stretched to a bit of OOCness with the Inuyasha cast, and yet I also see where I can justify it. Make no mistake, the rules I am bound by are more so by the Belgariad rules than the Inuyasha ones. It's the ones I KNOW without thinking about them, the ones I can run circles around any flamer with, and the ones that will have the most impact on this story, so if you don't like it, too bad. At 704 pages single spaced, I just don't see going back and “fixing” that anytime soon.

What I am trying to do with this story is to honor the world Eddings gave me to play in. I have had so much fun seeing what will happen, and I think more than anything it has helped me to become a better writer. I can see the evolution of my writing, my style, and my craft when I look at the early portion of the story and the last fifteen chapters roughly. I am astounded that it has such cohesiveness, but I attribute that to re-reading details and trying to have some consistency than talent. I think being consistent and having some cohesiveness is important, otherwise no one knows what's up and what's down and what's going on. I have throughly enjoyed playing with my favorite characters from both worlds, but I particularly enjoy bringing to those who have never read the series these characters that they have never met---and then proceeded to introduce them to the original source. In ways, it's just holding onto them for as long as possible (which seems to be indefinitely at this point).

While, at nearly eighty chapters now, it might seem that I have absolutely no direction or end in sight, I DO actually have almost right up to the last chapter plotted, at least in rough sketches. I know where we're headed, it's just a matter of getting there. Sometimes other writing projects get in the way, or work, or family. But I do promise to get there---eventually.

Most of all, I do truly hope that all of you have enjoyed this story as much as I have. Its not going to be something that will ever be held up as fine literature, but I do hope it's a story that you will return to and savor, almost as much as the Eddings source material itself. When I started, I had intended to keep it on my hard drive, solely for myself. My beta reader convinced me to post it at a public site (AFF back before the big crash), and I did with little to no hope of any response. I figured it would be too far off the beaten path, that the series I was crossing Inuyasha with would be too out there, and that no one would have any interest in my crazy experiment. Then I started to get reviews like crazy and some reviewers have been there since I started in 2005. It's astounding to me in may ways because I thought it'd fizzle out, I'd get bored or too overwhelmed and throw my hands up in exasperation. And yet, here we are, still at it.

Buckle in, sit tight, and keep reading. We've got quite a ways to go, believe me. That City is still waiting!


Now for the review responses:



iPoe: I'm glad you liked the chapter. I think Silk has certainly given Miroku more than enough to stew over concerning his courtship of Sango and his selfishness. Maybe he'll actually take our spy's advice on the matter!

Doggieearlover: Yes, and I would say that Silk has every reason to be terrified inside a cave, wouldn't you? It certainly did not make matters simpler or easier for Miroku to keep them alive through the ordeal. I think Miroku had to experience this, though. He'll need to draw on that strength again and having lived through this will help. You'll just have to wait and see just who heals Miroku and what happens from there. You might be surprised.

NikkiColey: You'll have to wait and see. We'll get to Sesshomaru and Rin, don't worry.

Inyu01: I'm glad you're loving the story.

Twilight Alien: I'm glad you find the Inuyasha characters to be in character. I do work hard at it. Do check out the Eddings books. They are worth the read. I do hope you'll continue to read!

Ladygriddlebone: I'm glad you liked this chapter so much. It was hard to get this one just right, but I think it turned out well. I've always been intrigued by Silk's “adventure” through the rock. It's mentioned a few times after the initial incident, but excluding the foray into Ulgoland in the Malloreon, they don't really go in depth to Silk's psychological effect. He mostly refuses to enter caves and it's left at that. Part of this chapter was exploration of that for me. The end part, that was all Silk. He's the one who wanted to knock some sense into our monk. I fear that Miroku and Sango are part Arendish at this point. At least it seems so. They ARE the exact type of couple a good Arendish tragic epic love story would feature. I don't think they'll end up dying pining for one another, though. Personally, I always thought that it was a missed opportunity in the manga to NOT have those two officially together after he proposed. Why wait until the very end for them to finally get together and have kids? I suppose it's the nature of the beast of manga, but still. I think the challenge would have been interesting. Expect to see some of that here in Journey.

TakaRaiIshikawa: I'm glad you're enjoying the story. I certainly do hope you'll keep reading!




Pucie: I'm glad you love the story so much. Writing this story has been an adventure and a delight. It's nice to know others see what I'm seeing when I sit down to put it down on the page. Even after four years of doing this, it just doesn't seem to lose its appeal. I certainly hope it won't until it's finished!

Patty530: I know, I did keep you hanging for some time, huh? I do promise to finish the story, so do take heart!

New Fan: I'm glad you're enjoying the story and look forward to more.

Until next time,

Far Away Eyes

Links: AFF MediaMiner



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Well, I know what you mean about really knowing some stories inside and out...there are a few out there I can make that claim about...I love this story...always glad to see another chapter....

I'm glad you still love the story. I'm still kind of shocked somewhat by his passing and find myself going back to the source to gain inspiration.

This is still far and away one of my very favorite fics, and I loved seeing that updated notice in my inbox. I was about to go to bed, but had to stay up to read it.

I didn't know anything about the other series when I started reading it, but I've grown to love those characters as well. I know that i look forward to every update and then once I read it, can't wait for the next. I'm glad you discovered this other world, no matter what the reason, and introduced those of us that didn't know of it to it.

I'm glad you like the Eddings characters. It was part of my goals when I started. They've been with me for a very long time, and honestly, I can't imagine not having them in my life in some shape or form at this point. Sure, they're fictional and only in books, but so what. It may be fantasy, but there's such realism in Edding's storytelling that you feel almost like it DID happen, that these characters DO exist, and that it's not impossible.

I'm also thrilled that you still find this to be one of your favorite fics. I know that, over time, it's drifted away from a center focus on Inu/Kag to accommodate the massive cast. It's just been so much fun to write.

I read about his passing and immedately thought of you. I'd never heard of him or his writing until I discovered your story. I fell for his characters here and had to discover more about them.

I'm glad I could get another person into the magical world of David Eddings. It's one of my greatest successes with the story, I think.

I know it's not quite the same, but I understand what it's like to have somebody who inadvertently guided your work pass away.

Though I write in my spare time, my true calling has always been science(genetics, neurobiology, cognition).

On July 28, 2004 the great Francis Crick of DNA structure fame died of colon cancer. Though I had never met the man, by studying his work, ideas, and controversies, I uncovered a lot about who I am today as a researcher. It is truly amazing how dear someone can become to you, even if you only receive their wisdom secondhand.

Exactly. You may have never known them or met them, but you feel like you do via their work and how it influences your own. It certainly makes the story a bit bittersweet, at least right now.

i have been reading since 2006, though i have never left a comment. i am amazed at how well you captured the personality of both the eddings and inuyasha characters. i'm gald you intend to finish the story, you had me worried there for a bit.

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