Original HIATUS Drama Fantasy Historical Horror Magic Male Lead Supernatural
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Sexual Content
  • Traumatising content

Bullets meet magic in an alternate-history wild west. Near Butcher Hills is a mine where magical ink grows. Monsters spawn from the deadly depths.

Chase Craig's only goal is to do right by his dead daddy and earn enough money to get momma away from this dangerous area. The best pay means mining the upper levels for ink, and the Rangers who police The Mountain have their own plans for the young man.

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FrustratedEgo

FrustratedEgo

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l nimbus
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Top 5 material. I'm not kidding.

Barring The Wandering Inn and A Practical Guide to Evil, this is the best story I have ever read online. And I've read them all. No, I'm not fanboying here, though me inner Western lover desperately wants to pull out a revolver and stick up anyone who challenges me on that. No, this is a statement. A promise of quality and amazing storytelling. And I'm going to tell you why.

This story whole-heartedly deserves to be in the Top 5 on RRL, but, for some mystic reason unknown to me, gets passed over. It takes a premise unique to RRL, hell, fiction in general, and makes something amazing out of it. Something spectacular. Something deep. Something that will have you scouring the internet, looking for more like it once you inevitably look up and realize you just read close to six hundred pages in a single sitting, probably missed supper, haven't showered and are going to sleep in tomorrow. And you don't regret it at all.


Lawless Ink is new. It's daring. It's deeper than The Mountain itself. It builds upon foundations unheard of. It's one of those stories that are 'too good' for RRL. This is what you expect from master writers, books locked behind paywalls. Instead, you get it for free.


Story:

Wild West. Dark Fantasy. Do i need to say more? Well, obviously. As an author myself, someone who specilaizes in the new and unheard of, this book floored me. It mixes one setting i've always had a soft spot for, The Wild West, with magic. Now, not the usual blend of magic, or even what you might expect. No, FE goes out of his way to make something entirely new, something I guarentee you've rarely seen, if at all.

There is no magic system you've seen before, no fallback on the old tropes. He stands up, kicks all that to the side, and creates. The entire 'magic' system of the world is a treaure by itself, being revealed to you at just the right pace, depth and complexity.

Ink. Tatoos. The cost. All of these are something to chew on, something to think about. He doesn't slap a few pieces of info together, he creates systems, rules, lore, reasons, stories. All revolving around the Ink. This never feels like making something complete, then needlessly piling onto it, but, rather, crafting a whole thay continues on while leaving you satisfied with what you have, but craving more.

The actual story itself is, again, a treasure, with you being able to see yourself in Chase's shoes, but not being a self-insert. It starts off strong, and only continues to consistently deliver quality from there. Slowly, you begin to see the scope of it all, the sheer enormity of this alternate earth, where magic was real and used to change history. But, in the end, you come back down to what draws you to the cast in the first place. A down-to-earth story about a man trying to make it by, day to day. The relationship between humans and the races of The Mountain, even the reimagining of historic events.

This will be seen by some as a 'slow' story, but to me, it feels perfect for it's setting. Everyday hardships, injuries that don't hop away into the bush in a few chaps, slowly evolving character relationships, and through it all, the story of The Hound Of The Mountain. This is one of the stories where I selfishly wish were already finished, just so I could spend another twenry or more hours devouring it all. It's that good. The entire story itself is unique, with you having little to no clue about what you'll be seeing next, but always excited for more. There are no familiar tropes or plotlines for you to fall back on, instead witnessing FE grabbing the axe and hacking out his own trail, leaving his mark on fiction forever.


Style:

Honestly, i just want to keep praising this, and yes, the style is great, but I had a few small bones to pick. There are times when it feels too confuding, and while, yes, that is the authors goal, since he's showing us the world from Chase's viewpoint and level of intelligence, it bled over...just a bit too much.

The same with the sections where Chase is suffering from exhaustion....They were so well done they made ME feel exhausted. Well, i did have half a shot of vodka down the hatch when I read that section, so that might be to blame....

Grammar:

Absolutely. Fucking. Perfect.

In 550 pages, I found THREE erorrs. That's it. Bonus props to accurately emulating the Old West in both speech and thought patterns. Can I rate higher than five stars just for that, RRL?

Characters:

Chase. Just...good lord, chase. How have you you made me care about someone so much, much less a fictional character. I'm just going to start off with this. If you give him some tragic, bullshit ending, I will find you, and PUNCH YOU SO FUGGIN HARD YOUR JAW WILL BREAK. ALONG WITH THE REST OF YOU. There, that said.

So, some might wonder that we've seen Chase's character plotline done to death and back. The old 'poor man trying to make a better life'. You haven't. You've seen knockoffs, but never this. Never this. Chase is someone you like almost immediately, if not that, then respect. He changes slowly throughout the series, yes, but remains true to his ideals and morals the whole time. He has his flawsz his strengths, his moments. He shows you what deication truly is. Isuspect I'll remeber the 'mercenary' scene for a loooonnnng time.

Jenn is similar. She's a deep, flawed, broken person, trapped in a body she doesn't want and haunted by nightmares. Her interactions and relation with Chase is one of the highlights if the story, and, I have to say, done right. Give them something happy, okay? They deserve it.

That aside, the rest of the cast stirs up a variety of emotion, some likeable, some pitiable, some toeing the line between obnoxious and relateable, and some are downright assholes. Ducky can go and frickin shove it, though. Both Obsidian and Cassandra are toeing that line too. Wan is an underrated badass. Just saying.

It speaks volumes of an author's ability when they can make you give a fuck about three paragraphs of text, turning that into very real people, who you remember and care about three hundred pages later. I still think of a certain foreman by the very first sentance he's introduced with.


Conclusion:


.........Why. The. Fuck. Isn't this in the Top Ten? That's something iIve been asking myself all day. Top notch characters. Vivid, deep storytelling. Scenarios and tales you haven't seen before, all done by a master author. This is so good i'm seriously considering buying/reading ALL of FE's other works. But for now, I'll never look at tatoos the same way.

pantster
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YOU NEED TO READ THIS!

If the writer maintains the quality, this might literally become my new best novel on rrl. The style is unique. The characters although, we don't know much about them, so far there are no 1- dimensional characters. The MC is great. If you like fantasy books with great world building and unique magic systems,  you should give this a try. 

Bruza
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Such a gret novel, hopefully it wont be dropped and instead stay around for a long time. respect to the author for the release frequency. top notch :)

Luffy Monkey
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If you keep writing I know this story will be the best in royal road. I love your mc and your plot is special.

Zombie Unicorne
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One of the best I've encountered and really unique and original. So do check it out.

I don't want to give away much other than it masterfully combines western, fantasy and really strong themes fantastically.

One of the big themes I'm really liking is the ever present legacy of ones perants and how it ultimately determines ones fate in life, be it for good or bad, there is no escaping.

I also love the setting, the author really made sure that the setting is both big and claustrophobic, rich but desolate, holy and malevolent. A great balance that is really hard to pull of so my praise to the author.

Username:
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TLDR: FrustratedEgo is one hell of a writer, but this story is one huge frustrating blob of pent-up tension with very little release. 

You know how sometimes authors will use the first few chapters of a story to show how the MC starts out as a weak and confused character striving beyond reason to grow stronger only to use the next few chapters to show how totally OP the MC gets? Well, FrustratedEgo spends the entire first book doing this exact thing...only without the OP part.

Don’t get me wrong, FrustratedEgo has some serious talent and a very captivating writing style. The author does an excellent job building a world that is interesting. The characters are given depth and personality such that I felt pulled into their stories. And errors with spelling and sentence structure seemed almost non-existent.

However, despite how into the story I was, I also found it is seriously frustrating. Its like chapter after chapter after chapter after chapter after chapter after chapter after chapter after chapter after chapter after chapter after chapter after chapter of foreshadowing, confusing mind trips, and maybe-next-times. I’d estimate that I spent the last 10 chapters just waiting for the MC to get his crap together…maybe in book 2.

Humanprototype
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The first 7 or so chapters were a tough read. I would describe them as oppressively grim and overstuffed. Bits of backstory, world building, and foreshadowing are peppered in constantly, attempting to add up to a more complete picture but never quite get there instead serving as roadblocks to plot progression as much as anything.

Fortunatly after that it picks up. The random bits of info start coming together and making sense. The plot starts moving, things start happening, and the tone lightens up some. 

8.5/10

Jokeradk
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lawless link is a fiction say "original" compared to other novel in this site and frankly it feels good and satisfying.
Let's start with grammar, no problem, especially since the author's wife corrects the editing errors and the rest.
The vocabulary or lexicon is rich in style, we see that the author has a good style to him and I personally love when a novel to a style that stands out and when I see it I say "hey I know this style, it's XXX "you see the genre.
Oh now the narration ..... how to say it is too good and we feel deeply connected to the characters and especially chase, we grow up with him we discover with him a real FPS, and especially the depth and realism, each time the author impresses me with his characters so rich in value (oh jenn poor broken bunny unable to forget the past and chase who is still in the shade or "mourning" of his father) frankly with all that makes a good story no ? .
The scenario, imaginon a far west more of the magic plus a construction of the world centered around the mountain which devellope as and when we say slowly but surely the bird leaves his nest, everything is so realistic the traditions, beliefs etc ... I repeat you were starting to read it worth it.

CONCLUSION...
We have great characters and a concrete scenario, an impeccable grammar and a realistic local construction so what are the defects hum ......................... .........
Let's say it's a little rough at first but we're so used to it.
Read comment share like .PEACE

craxuan
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There are stories that deserve to be put on Royalroad, and there are stories that don't. What're you doing handing out free gold, man? Just head out and sell this to a publisher already, if not publishing it yourself.

Chawki89
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I came across this story in what felt like a random way on rrl. Once I found it and started to read it I haven’t been able to put it down since. I’m losing precious sleep over needing to keep reading. This story is much more subtle than your litrpgs and other fantasy magic stories you find on rrl. And I love it! A must read!