“Rite of the Northmen”: A Novelette by CSI’s Own

A Fable That Faintly Echoes Game of Thrones

By: Lucia Rossi


On July 27, recent CSI graduate, Jason Wisniewski, published his first book on Amazon under the pen name: Jason Alexander.

This Game of Thrones-inspired short story called “Rite of the Northmen” may be a fast 26 page read, but packs a punch with its mystical, medieval, and fable-like elements.

The words keep you hanging on with its visually beautiful and extremely fantastical scenery, innocent but brave developing character, colorful use of adjectives and a surprisingly twisted ending.

Its college-budget friendly with its affordable $2.99 price, and it’s worth every penny.

The story is focused on thirteen year old Adrian of House Ardent, who embarks on a rite of passage through a mysterious cave. There, he will be tested by ancient forces where his values as a man will be realized. All men of the north must pass this test and return with a loyal animal companion, or otherwise fail and die. Every man’s choice is a reflection of their heart and honesty is the way to succeed.

Although the story has moments that are left to interpretation, there are some morals that are clear such as: there’s always another way, accept the person you are and fight for it, there should always be a balance of good and evil, don’t be afraid to grow up, and that sometimes your expectations of those you look up to may not be what you expected.

Wisniewski would like to thank the many CSI professors that have helped him over the years such as Professor Conti, Professor Rice-Gonzalez, and Professor Shulman. He claims that their workshops were crucial to his growth as a writer and helped him procure the do’s and don’ts of creative writing.

Although the story is finished, Wisniewski knows there is always room for improvements.

“I would still like to improve on my prose,” he said. “I feel like there is a lot of grammatical errors that I can’t remove.” For a budding author, he knows his work isn’t perfect but that’s not stopping the five star reviews he is receiving on Amazon.

Like any author, there are always things we love and hate about our own work. Jason Wisniewski is no exception to this self-criticism.

“I enjoyed exploring Adrian’s findings alongside him and seeing these strange new things with him,” he said. “It’s not just exploring magical elements but exploring his own ideals, and in turn, my own.”

The tough thing about short stories is obviously their length and the limitations that come with that.

“What I hate about it is how limited I felt when I wrote it,” Wisniewski said. “I can’t imagine anything more than how I ended it, there, with Adrian.”

Even with limitations, the story has a sweet slow pace with very passionate descriptions, rich history and culture, distinct characters, fantastical creatures, simple dialogue, and powerful emotions.

Wisniewski is completely unashamed of his love for the Game of Thrones world and George R.R. Martin’s writing style. The main character can be easily visualized as someone similar to Bran Stark and of course their loyal companions are wolves. Telepathic wolves to be exact.

The writing is similar to that of GoT with his descriptions of their clothing, the frigid cold weather, the lavish dinners, and the drunken songs sung. Clearly, this author was team Stark.

This story has a flashback that is crucial; it drops subtle hints as to how things may not be what they seem. It is imperative that you pay attention to detail.

“I want people to not only be entertained by my stories, but find the hidden ideas behind “Rite of the Northmen”,” Wisniewski said.

His piece of advice for readers and other students is this, “To readers, I want them to know that there’s so much more. To the story, to me, to the world,” Wisniewski said. “To students, I want them to keep an open mind and don’t take your education for granted.”



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