Echoes of Rundan

by RileySKeene

Original ONGOING Fantasy GameLit LitRPG Male Lead Non-Human lead Portal Fantasy / Isekai Virtual Reality
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity

His salvation comes in the form of a digital invitation...

Mild-mannered accountant Dylan McIver needs something more than takeout, spreadsheets, and the occasional PUG. Everyone around him is getting married and popping out kids, and neither of those sound like the adventure Dylan wants out of life.

His best friend, Nakala, has the answer. A beta invite to Monsoon Entertainment's latest MMO. But it isn't just an offer; it's a plea. Dylan will need to sacrifice five years of his real life to help her. The grind in the game is real, but Dylan is up for the challenge. There's monsters to kill, towns to build, mysteries to uncover, crafting to master, and fishing to enjoy.

He'll sleep eventually.

Echoes of Rundan is a Royal Road and Patreon exclusive fantasy LitRPG that starts with Landfall.

Chapters are uploaded every other day!

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RileySKeene

RileySKeene

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Landfall: Chapter One ago
Landfall: Chapter Two ago
Landfall: Chapter Three ago
Landfall: Chapter Four ago
Landfall: Chapter Five ago
Landfall: Chapter Six ago
Landfall: Chapter Seven ago
Landfall: Chapter Eight ago
Landfall: Chapter Nine ago
Landfall: Chapter Ten ago
Landfall: Chapter Eleven ago
Landfall: Chapter Twelve ago
Landfall: Chapter Thirteen ago
Landfall: Chapter Fourteen ago
Landfall: Chapter Fifteen ago
Landfall: Chapter Sixteen ago
Landfall: Chapter Seventeen ago
Landfall: Chapter Eighteen ago
Landfall: Chapter Nineteen ago
Landfall: Chapter Twenty ago
Landfall: Chapter Twenty-One ago
Landfall: Chapter Twenty-Two ago
Landfall: Chapter Twenty-Three ago
Landfall: Chapter Twenty-Four ago
Landfall: Chapter Twenty-Five ago
Landfall: Chapter Twenty-Six ago
Landfall: Chapter Twenty-Seven ago
Landfall: Chapter Twenty-Eight ago
Landfall: Chapter Twenty-Nine ago
Landfall: Chapter Thirty ago
Landfall: Chapter Thirty-One ago
Landfall: Chapter Thirty-Two ago
Landfall: Chapter Thirty-Three ago
Landfall: Chapter Thirty-Four ago
Landfall: Chapter Thirty-Five ago
Landfall: Chapter Thirty-Six ago
Landfall: Chapter Thirty-Seven ago
Landfall: Chapter Thirty-Eight ago
Landfall: Chapter Thirty-Nine ago

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Branded-Tier
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It's pretty good so far but there are definite problems

Reviewed at: Landfall: Chapter Nineteen

Generally well written and fun to read except for one aspect that I will explain below. While it's not an original story idea it's not completely following in other stories' footsteps.

None of these complaints are bad enough for me to stop reading. The first one will be if it continues, the other isn’t that big a deal.

The weakest part of this story is the world building and character development. Interestingly, they suffer from the opposite problem than the one that most stories have. Rather than too little information, this story has too much. Or, maybe more correctly, the author isn't presenting the large amounts of information in the right way.

I can't provide from text examples without spoiling parts of the story but it's just a general lack of Chekhov's Gun.

It's grating to read exposition about a test that can be shown rather than told. The reader is stuck with dialogue from characters that are unimportant, extraneous details about this side character's body language when trying to remember another unimportant character's name. To make it worse, this specific piece of exposition is coming directly after another facet of the test where people were having trouble writing without a table. Is that important? No. Do I care about the main character's embarrassment when using the floor to write? No. Perhaps I could, perhaps it develops the character, but too much time, effort, and emphasis is put on a minor detail that is, at best, a supporting aspect of much more effective moments of character development.

This is also how the game mechanics are explained to the reader and the main character. There has to have been a more elegant and more interesting way to teach the reader the rules of the setting. The tutorial is skipped like the author knows that it would be boring for the reader to read but then what might as well have been a tutorial is written in immediately afterwards.

Overall, the author is relying on character dialogue too heavily as a strategy for dumping information on the reader, which is a lack of showing and not telling, and they're also putting too much detail into unimportant things. "If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired." The numerous pistols hung on the wall in this story are put there as decor because the author seems worried that the room will be empty without them. Scars on the backs of hands, favorite dishes, lacks of pens, and the oddity of a hole in the wall restaurant being empty in Seattle.

Lastly, I don’t like the races. Replacing the ubiquitous elves, orcs, etcetera would be an interesting thing but they’ve been replaced with copies filling the same role in a worse way. Orcs but weird, why not just have orcs? Dark elves but weird, why not just have dark elves? Halflings but weird, why not have halflings? Succubuses/tieflings but weird, why not just have succubuses/tieflings? They're not really original but they’ve been changed just enough to not have what people like about those original races.

I'll keep reading it and I think it's pretty good so far but there are definite problems. The author's profile says they have published six novels before, if this is going to be published then at the very least I believe the dialogue being used as an info dump should be reworked before then. If you like slow burning GameLit stories then you'll probably like this.

Zentari
  • Overall Score

Hey, if a friend walked up to you and asked for your help, in a dubious thing that might be detrimental to you, without disclosing any information claiming 'NDA', would you agree to help them? Especially if they acted shifty?

 

Now, imagine a company wanting to put you into a SAO ripoff for five years, for a BETA TESTING, while also having power of attorney over your holdings and not paying you a freaking dime, would you accept?

If your answer to the above two paragraphs is 'No', then congrats; you are better than the protagonist is.

An interesting premise does not make up for bad writing.

Zeddzul
  • Overall Score

As far as I can tell this is not an isekai novel just a very upbeat and naive litrpg.  The MC is in no danger of dying inside or outside the game. Everyone is happy go lucky so much they can go fishing instead of preparing for a battle in just under 2 weeks. With no danger and no progression it's just some dude playing a casual game. 

Henry Joseph Thiel
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Edit: 21 January 2020, up to Ch26

Yup. The slow burn went on longer than I thought it would, but honestly the slower journey was entertaining. But now we're getting into more action scenes and sequences, as well as meeting more characters, including an NPC. 

I am glad to see that the authors are remembering their MC has nonhuman anatomy, and that tails are very useful for keeping balance. A lot of authors forget that, and write their nonhuman main characters as just... human. With a different name. And that's wrong. 

There is a terrible lack of otters in this story but I am given to understand my habitual whining will pay off eventually, so I will be patient. Plus with the MC enjoying fishing I will be excited to see the fishing arc with a rivalry between himself and an otter who gets the best of him.

Okay I'm just hoping for that arc.

 

riginal (ch5)

There's not too much here to review just yet. Only up to chapter five is out and we've still not seen the game world, but the writing skill being used is top notch.

And while the buildup is feeling aganozingly slow I'm still following.

 

I'll update this review when there's more to review but for now it gets five stars because it's that promising.

LiterallyGoose
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I generally enjoy the LitRPG genre although I normally tend to avoid GameLit, as I find it too 'on the nose'. That said, I have thoroughly enjoyed the start of this web novel.

Don't be put off by comments referring to the 'slow burn' - if you like 'Delve' or similar, the world building start to this piece won’t put you off, if anything, the MC's introduction to the game almost feels rushed - when it happens, it happens abruptly. 

The pace seems good so far, the author has introduced small potential 'blocks' that make sense from a world building perspective, so that the MC is forced to get to grips with his new 'life' and companions, instead of just immediately starting the march to power. 

Grammatically excellent, with very few typos. 

I am very much looking forward to learning more about the MC, although his decision to start the process of the GameLit element was slightly quick and jarring, the fact that one decision did feel 'out of character' for the reader must mean that the author has already developed the character.

Keep it up please guys - it has been a while since I have picked something new up on RR that I was as invested in without several hundred chapters to read. Thanks! 

Jahnes
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Overview

This is a story for those with the patience to wait for a good story to unfold. It starts slow, and this pace has continued to the time I am writing this review (Chapter Thirty). By no means does this mean that this story is bad, however. Untypical for the LitRPG-Genre, there is a heavy focus on the characters and conversations rather than the underlying mechanics of the game. This makes this not a read for everyone, especially on Royalroad, but no story ever is.

The conclusion is at the bottom, so skip ahead if you wish to skip my blabbering.

Style

The style gets the job done. It flows well and I noticed no discernible hitches in my reading experience. The author obviously knows what they are doing, and I particularly liked the way they manage to convey the protagonist's feelings without having to resort to massive monologues. 

Furthermore, the world-building is done with taste. A wider world is always in the back of the story, but it is slowly unveiled without overwhelming the reader.

Grammar

You know the grammar is good when you hardly ever have to stop and think about it. 'Nuff said.

Story

The story is, in my opinion, the weakest part. The way the protagonist gets into the game requires a significant amount of suspension of disbelief. It ripped me out of my immersion for a while as I questioned the actions of the main character.

Putting that aside, however, the in-game plot seems to have only really started picking up at this point, which is why I am tentatively giving the story 3,5 stars. I like the way the author interweaves game mechanics with realism without having to resort to blue screens.

Character

The characters are strongly fleshed out here. There may not be a massive cast, but every character seems to have established motivations. Whilst they may be a bit flimsy for people willing to immerse themselves in the game world to such an extent, I wouldn't doubt that there are many such people in reality as well.

The only thing grating on my mind is Nakala. I can't stand her.

(Spoilers and rant ahead!)

She asks the MC to confine himself to a virtual world for five years to make her following in-game life easier. She does this in spite of knowing there is no safe way to extract him at the moment.

What for? Because she fears the game could make her life harder due to her intimately knowing the underlying economic mechanics governing the game.

Instead of blowing her off or doing anything remotely sensible or realistic, the MC simply...accepts, albeit with lots of hesitation. I could have accepted it if he wanted to use her offer to get out of the trot of his daily life, but even in-game he is focused on becoming better in order to make her life easier.

I have lots of problems with that. More than I could care to articulate, but my take here is simply that Nakala is an absolutely horrible friend.

(Rant over)

I would have loved to give the characters a score of 3,0 simply due to her existence, but in the end most characters seem to have been crafted much better than her. They deserve a 4,5 score, little as I know about them yet.

Conclusion

While is still far too soon to make any sweeping conclusions, I believe it is on the way to becoming a good read. My seething hate for one particular character aside, this story has certainly captured my interest. If it manages to maintain its current quality, Echoes of Rundan will cement itself as a regular read I can look forward to.

WolfKit
  • Overall Score

This is something of a slow burn and the plot is only just kicking off so I will refrain from writing a full review just yet; but the writing, characterization, and worldbuilding thus far are very solid.

Eagerly following to see where it goes.