- Traumatising content
[Twilight Kingdom, Book 1 available on Amazon ]
On the eve of her 16th birthday, Candle Enys discovers her brother has sold her soul to a demon.
Neglected, unloved, and terrified for her life, Candle flees her family to take her chances in the mountain wilds. There in the gloaming, she'll wander, stalked by shades and monsters who prowl the half-light, hunting for bodies to steal. A foul winds reek of death and black powder. It is only with the kingdom's army of criminal outcasts where Candle will find her solace, however short-lived. Unfortunately for her, in a land where violence is the ultimate sin, war is about to erupt. Invaders armed with airships and cannons have arrived on the shores, laying waste to all who stand against their conquest. With no kin, no magic, and no soul, will Candle find her wings in time to save her home? Or will the Twilight Kingdom fade to dusk?
A dark fantasy with steampunk and horror elements.
If anyone wants to talk about Twilight Kingdom, Night Nation, Dusk Empire, Dawn Watch or anything really, come and chat on Discord.
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I write this review as of chapter 30. Metal and Magix is a rarity on RRL in the sense that it reads and is structured like a book, and a pretty good one at that. The story follows "Candle" Enys, the daughter of conservative local nobility in a small vilage. Her blue eyes and lack of magic make her an outsider and an embarrassment. We follow her story as she tries to find her place in a world threatened by a looming crisis.
Style: clean, seamless and beautiful. The descriptions are really well done. I would say it's close to professional level if not already there.
Grammar: perfect, but I dropped a star because of a few typos. Nothing that a little bit of editing won't correct. It doesn't ruin the immersion.
Story score: I would say that it starts a bit slow, but at the same time the world building is simply insane. I am talking about Tolkien levels here. There is a social structure, a deep magic system, different people with different cultures etc... and it's all introduced progressively so as not to interrupt the narration.
Characters: brilliant. The characters are fleshed out and believable, even the secondary ones. The author manages to show their personalities in a handful of words and every signle one of them has depth and secrets we want to uncover.
Verdict: Metal and Magic is a good Fantasy book and should be enjoyed as such. If you liked the Wheel of Time or anything from Raymond Feist, you will enjoy it a lot. I can only recommend that you add it to your "followed" list.
Horror has very few good titles to its name, here at RR. And those that are there are tempered with humor or meta tropes and litrpg elements.
Now this... this is unadulterated stuff. The mystical atmosphere is there as is a pervasive sense of despair. All contrasted against a scientific civilization we can identify with - just in the role of the invaders instead of the invaded as is the case for most apocalyptic fictions.
The only other fiction that comes close on RR is Couplet... and in terms of published works: The Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix.
Definitely a must read if you like metal and magic.
I’m loving the world building and story. Grammar is good and any mistakes there are don’t bother me. It’s a shame that this story has been out for months and hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves so I’m writing a review and I’ve never bothered to write one before so I‘m typing this to help support the story since I’m enjoying it so much.
The main problem I see
Many of the highest rated reviews here were written during the first 30-40 chapters and are almost unanimous in singing their praises.
And while with a start to a review like that you might expect me to object, the absolute opposite is the case.
The first thirty chapters or so are simply flawless.
The word is unique, the characters are intriguing, and there's plenty of mystery to keep you hooked.
The pace was slow, but it felt deliberate and fitting. It was simply echanting.
But now for the big "But"
In just a few chapters the world expands drastically and without any real foreshadowing or leadup the status quo just... Flips.
The exact moment the main character is at her lowest, a reveal occurs and she suddenly finds herself better than she's ever been.
— Which leads directly into the abrupt and mostly closureless conclusion of a major part of the plot.
From then on, new antagonists and companions are introduced and the plot continued to progress at this rather quick pace.
The following chapters and plots are still decent, but it is a stark departure from the beginning. It was jarring and ripped me out of my immersion immediately.
Many reviews criticise the grammar, or deduct points for it.
Frankly, I don't see it.
Whether this is due to my brain just filtering out these bumps in the experience automatically, or chapters being in a less congruent state when being first released compared to when I was reading them, I cannot say.
The only thing I can say is that I was never distracted by any grammatical hick-up, or had to go back to re-read a sentence due to it.
That's enough for me to say it's perfectly fine.
Many reviews also criticise the main character and her actions.
Here, I can't really object.
As Candle becomes more proactive, more and more of the problems and threats she has to face... Are simply caused by her.
Through either negligence, failure to follow even the most simple of advice, or just not thinking things through properly, she ends up fucking things up. Especially in book 2.
You could claim that this is due to her naiveté but in all but one case it doesn't end up as a learning experience and she just ends up being coddled by the people around her and never entirely seems aware of just how badly she messed up.
I also can't help but feel like her character has actively devolved over the course of the story.
She just doesn't shine as much as she did during that initial arc.
I don't really wish to invoke the word, but, at least since book 2 Candle starts to feel more and more like a Mary Sue.
A blank slate that cannot do wrong and cannot be allowed to make any 'immoral', or 'wrong' choices.
It's a bit sad to see her slowly creep into this direction, since I initally had very high hopes for her.
Interesting enough. In every book so far the premises have really caught my interest.
Regrettably the conclusions of each book have been somewhat of a letdown.
They might be bombastic, but the main characters prevailing never really felt earned to me.
I can't really give much of an unbiased analysis, about the style in the chapters beyond book 1, since the sudden new direction really ripped me from my immersion.
Till said conclusion 10/10, afterwards, I cannot really say.
For fairness sake it gets five stars.
The overall score
While writing this review, I kept on contemplating whether I should give this work 3 or 3½ stars.
In the end, I chose the former, simply because I don't really have faith.
While the writing in the beginning of the third book is intriguing once again and it ended up hooking me, I simply don't think that any of the issues discussed earlier will really be amended.
I am going into a new arc of a story I started out enamoured by with cautios pessimism. And that's somewhat sad, frankly.
Its alright, the story wasnt amazing as some put it, but it was definately unique and very very well written
the mc was just not relatable, or likeable, but this is a personal opinion. You will either like her goody two shoes i wanna save the world persona, or you will find her stupid for giving a shit about people who were ready to throw her away. On the bright side, most charecters were fleshed out. On the rough side, not too many were likeable
Part of the way the war was won felt deus ex machiny, but author clarified there is more to come. And tbh, there was enough foreshadowing and they couldnt really have won without that interferance.
romance felt very pushed in, and very shallow . Both her and the ML have no reason to trust each other, there were no cute moments or things leading up to the point where they might have liked each other. ML explains why and when he started falling for her, but mc seems like shed fall for any one who agrees with her and gives her the attention for the day.
Overall its a well written story, enjoyable. But the charecters were the downside to me and thus made me knock down a few stars
This is one of royal road's gems. You know the ones. They pass by, unnoticed but by the canny few, and then one day they apear on the trending list and suddenly others like me can read. We can read and understand just how much passon and craft has gone into makeing this work of art. Well worth a read in my opionion. Even if it doesn't seem like you're type of thing, you may find yorself suprized.
I really wanted to like this story and the writing and the magic system and the Lore is amazingly crafted, but i cannot get over how worthless the protagonist is.
She has no agency and no will of her own. stuff just keeps happening to her and everytime something bad happens, she just lays down and whines and cries and has to get saved by somebody else.
she is so naive and useless it genuinely makes me angry reading paragraph after paragraph, waiting for her to grow a spine and to stop being weak and pathetic and it just never happens
Read what’s on the tin, I love this story. Real slow buildup, even now 37 chapters in and there are only tidbits here and there for the world building (in a good way: the world seems solid, the author just hasn’t spoon fed the readers with it). Even the smallest threats seem dangerous to a character who clearly has a unique ability, but not one lending her help in combat (yet).
So like I say, it reminds me of classic High Fantasy, specifically a Tad Williams’ story. Not quite as refined, the grammar needs help in places and the flow sometimes come off stilted, but I am really enjoying it.
The structure and foresight that went into this story so far is amazing. I would gladly buy this when finished. The story has very good flow and the world building is beyond most stories on royal road.
Baed on the title you might think this is a standard fantasy novel attempt on royalroad but it's really not. For starters, the quality of the writing, worldbuilding, characters and pacing is all top notch by royalroad standards, and I can't honestly tell much of a difference from a published work.
Secondly, and maybe more importantly, the magic system and world is actually interesting. This novel more resembles Sabriel or Codex Alera in that the world is populated with various creatures incorporeal and corporeal that we don't know much about, and the magic system seems inextricably linked with them. There's also this interesting ancestor cult thing going on, which also seems related with the magic system. The author also does a really good job at building suspense and danger in this first arc, and charcter motives, at least for right now, remain nebulous and interesting.
Overall so far I'd say this work is as good as gets on royal road and I'd highly recommend it. (So far ;p)