I was in high school by the time I had finally talked my parents into giving me an allowance. The first week that I held my own fifteen dollars in my hand, money which I worked diligently at earning, I was thrilled. There was a little bookstore downtown that I had been dying to become a patron of. Counting the minutes until I could walk through the doors of the bookstore, I headed out on my walk.
Upon seeing the door, my heart sank. “All books 25% off. All sales final. Store closing.” The close date on the sign was the very next day. I went in with a heavy heart, determined to at least delve in for my first and last experience. I also promised myself that I would not leave without a book.
The pickings were slim. I headed in the direction of my favorite genre, sci-fi, which was casually mixed in with fantasy in this particular store. Concerned over the empty space on the shelves, I read each title carefully to see if there were any possible keepers. My eyes skimmed over the spines and then back tracked.
The Jackal of Nar. A full sentence for a title. The fantastic artwork on the front captivated me. But “Nar?” It sounded too close to “Narnia” for my liking. Still, I picked up the book and began my traditional skimming: read the back, sleeve (if there is one – there wasn’t on this book), first page, last page, and three in the middle.
I was hooked. I bought the oversized paperback that day. I read the first 100 pages before bed that night. I established myself in the Dring a Valley, fighting with Prince Richius and his men, and instantly pining for Lucyler. During my initial read, I swore at Biagio, thinking him Devil spawn, only to weep with him in the end. I threw the book no less than five times over Richius’ infantile behavior. I had nightmares over Sabrina’s end.
Each year I read The Jackal of Nar. Whether I have time to read the entire trilogy or not, that first book is on my list of annual reads. John Marco is fantastic behind the pen of this novel. It was his first to be published and set him on top of a high pedestal from the first print. Read it, you won’t regret it.