The Ancient Crystal

by SpareSomeChange

Original ONGOING Action Adventure Fantasy Tragedy Dungeon Grimdark High Fantasy Magic Male Lead Ruling Class Secret Identity Strong Lead
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Sexual Content
  • Traumatising content

The story about a family's struggle to ensure that, above all else, their son escapes from the mines where he was born into slavery. Follow Alistar as he struggles through terror and tragedy, embarking on a road to discover himself and his heritage.

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  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
  • Character Score
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  • Pages :
  • 355
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Word Count (14)
Top List #500
3rd Anniversary
Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter One: What Dwells Within the Darkness ago
Chapter Two: What Dwells Within the Darkness (Part Two) ago
Chapter Three: What Dwells Within the Darkness (Part Three) ago
Chapter Four: Dreams for the Future ago
Chapter Five: The Warmth of Another ago
Chapter Six: The Warmth of Another (Part Two) ago
Chapter Seven: The Warmth of Another (Part Three) ago
Chapter Eight: Change of Pace ago
Chapter Nine: Introductions ago
Chapter Ten: Daily Life ago
Chapter Eleven: Magic ago
Chapter Twelve: Magic (Part Two) ago
Chapter Thirteen: Magic (Part Three) ago
Chapter Fourteen: While They Played ago
Chapter Fifteen: While They Played (Part Two) ago
Chapter Sixteen: His Father's Son ago
Chapter Seventeen: His Father's Son (Part Two) ago
Chapter Eighteen: I Will Return ago
Chapter Nineteen: I Will Return (Part Two) ago
Chapter Twenty: Goodbye for Now ago
Chapter Twenty-one: Goodbye for Now (Part Two) ago
Chapter Twenty-two: First Day on the Surface ago
Chapter Twenty-three: The First Day Ends ago
Chapter Twenty-four: Old Friends ago
Chapter Twenty-five: Old Friends (Part Two) ago
Chapter Twenty-six: Those Who Saved Him ago
Chapter Twenty-seven: Those Who Saved Him (Part Two) ago
Chapter Twenty-eight: Those Who Saved Him (Part Three) ago
Chapter Twenty-nine: The Weeks That Followed ago
Chapter Thirty: The Weeks That Followed (Part Two) ago
Chapter Thirty-one: The Peak of Sadness ago
Chapter Thirty-two: The Peak of Sadness (Part Two) ago
Chapter Thirty-three: Riverside Retreat ago
Chapter Thirty-four: Riverside Retreat (Part Two) ago
Chapter Thirty-five: Riverside Retreat (Part Three) ago
Chapter Thirty-six: Riverside Retreat (Part Four) ago
Chapter Thirty-seven: Fresh Start ago
Chapter Thirty-eight: Fresh Start (Part Two) ago
Chapter Thirty-nine: Fresh Start (Part Three) ago
Chapter Forty: Fresh Start (Part Four) ago
Chapter Forty-one: Gifts From Caedmon ago
Chapter Forty-two: Gifts From Caedmon (Part Two) ago
Chapter Forty-three: Gifts From Caedmon (Part Three) ago
Chapter Forty-four: A Lesson on History ago
Chapter Forty-five: A Lesson on History (Part Two) ago
Chapter Forty-six: A Lesson on History (Part Three) ago
Chapter Forty-seven: Master Swordsman? ago
Chapter Forty-eight: Master Swordsman? (Part Two) ago
Chapter Forty-nine: Busy Schedule ago
Chapter Fifty: Busy Schedule (Part Two) ago
Chapter Fifty-one: Busy Schedule (Part Three) ago
Chapter Fifty-two: Busy Schedule (Part Four) ago
Chapter Fifty-three: Bargaining ago
Chapter Fifty-four: An Honest Discussion ago

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Overall, I can't say enough good things about this story so far. I'm super excited for where the authors takes it! So if you like these things in books I'd recommend this story for you. Actually Grimdark, like it really is, enough said. There isn't any LItrpg so if you only like stories with Litrpg sorry, though I'd still recommend this, if you like the other things I have to say. Magic, though there hasn't been much progress so far. And it looks like the magic system is not connected to music WHICH I strongly dislike in books. The characters make LOGICAL decisions and there is evidence for every choice that a character makes. The MC is 7-9 years old over the course of the story so far I would say that the MC actually acts his age reasonably well. Granted the things that happen to the MC are horrible and force him grow up sooner than most kids his age. So it does act differently in comparison to most kids his age but it is reasonable given his story so far.I think the author really nails down this aspect in the story. 

Style: I like it, nothing to complain about here. ( I may come back and add more here but I can't think of anything else to put here for now)

Grammar: I'm not a grammar nazi, so take this part of the review with a grain of salt. The only thing I noticed throughout the book was a missing quote for a dialogue between the MC and a future character.

Story: Great, Awesome, Amazing, Immaculate all describe the story, is it original not really, I've read stories that start in a similar manner to this story. This story just does everything all the other stories try to do and does it better.

Character: Honestly a toss up to me which is better the story or the characters, I think as of now I'd give the characters a slight edge over the story. Now I'll repeat what I've already said above the characters are some of the best written on the site and make realistic choices.



To start out, sorry for the terrible pun in the review title.

I don't really write reviews normally and don't know what to do so I'm just going to dive right into it...


The author's writing style is superb. There's a clear focus on the main character with one or two other perspectives added to expand our view and understanding of the other characters. None of the perspective changes have taken away from the story in any way and were generally well executed.


If I had to name one thing that I don't like about how you've written the story so far, it would probably have to be the pacing. I can't think of any one big thing that could have been sped up or skipped but it has taken a very long time even for the relatively small progression it feels like has occurred. There are benefits to having slightly slower pacing though, most notably for the characters and world building.


The characters in this story are excellent. The main characters (especially in the most recent chapters) feel fleshed out and have personalities that feal realistic and plausible given the circumstances. I would say that a lot of the other characters don't necessarily feel particularly unique or special which might be due to a lack of dialogue? They're all recognizable and different just they don't always really stand out. The only other thing is obviously Alistar feels too smart and well spoken for his age, but that's clearly intentional so I'll wait and see how that develops and why :)


I have nothing to say here other than that I've noticed no obvious mistakes. The grammar feels entirely natural and is among the best that authors on this site have to offer.


The story is a little dark especially to begin with. This will clearly not be to everyone's liking. I have no idea how the author intends to go on with the story; the author has clearly left lots of room to make things more dark but at the same time there's room to have some good things happen. As a final comment, this is one of very few stories that has managed to persuade me to write out a review. I'd strongly recommend this story to anyone.

Simon Blakeway

This level of writing is almost impossible to find online, although there isn't a lot of content yet its all high quality and I haven't seen any flaws yet.

There is a plot(which already makes it better than most!) and a progressive world building style, so no huge info dumps and six chapters of random stuff. 

Another thing is how little it stands on litrpg, instead of making it an rpg grind with random plot and terrible characters with no interesting thing other than throwing fireball, the author goes out of his way to write engaging characters and good dialog(you won't see any cringy anime lines here).

Amd last but not least is the world building, which is remarkably rich and engaging, especially since it doesn't feel like a half-assed 10 min cram on"epic ancient warriors killing each other" thing that you see a lot, oh, and I forgot that " you've got to save the world from evil gods while you're at it" part


All in all I'm really hopeful about this, and I feel like giving this review might encourage future readers to give it a try even though the page count is low.

Anyway I'm not going to spoil any actual details for anyone, but give it a try please, and rate it as well, it needs more reviews and coverage


This is the best book I have read on Royalroad in a while. A lot of books skip the entire slavery arc to focus on other aspects of the book and rightly so because there is a lot that can go wrong in writing it, but this guy never heard about skipping the complex and went straight for it and did it justice. I could empathize with the MC and his parents. I could feel the depths of their love for him. I honestly thought this book was going to be crap from the description but as has been proven repeatedly never judge a book on royal road by its description or cover art. To whoever is reading this amateur review that doesn't seem to focus on the book I am sorry, I'm actually writing this to encourage the author as I heard Royalroad reviews can be harsh and I have no cash to support the author.

Keep writing.


I stated reading this story because I am also reading another book from the same author. From the minute I started, I was emerged in the story. The vivid descriptions and narratives are well executed.  I totally recommend this book. I can't wait to continue reading the next chapters and find out where Alister's story develops.


This story is really well written with some excellent foreshadowing that just urges you to read more. The setting is dark and tragic but things are just getting started. I cannot wait for the hero to emerge from the victim he now is inhabitting. The story flows well and I can tell it is leading to something grand.


The story is very, very, very slow paced.

It is about a boy who lets things happen to himself and never resolves anything by himself but only survives with the help of other characters.

Basically nothing happens for 4 chapters, then we get a timeskip of a few months or years, rinse and repeat.

The slow burn is too slow, the food is still not done after 20 chapters.

MC basically doesnt do anything for 24 chapters, he is just a victim of circumstances, and continues to be one. Every thing gets resolved by other characters that are ten times more interesting.

I will continue reading the story and update my rating accordingly.

For now 3-3.5 stars


Edit: 3 stars, too much deus ex machina, MC STILL has no agency as of chapter 26

Good luck author for the future


So the first twenty or so chapters are just introduction to the pain, misery, and trauma that evidently are going to motivate the main character. 

That said, the actual writing is of very high technical and creative quality, even if the characters all appear to be static. Additionally, unlike many stories on this site, the fantasy system introduction is not a simplistic data dump, but is discussed in plausible portions as explained to the child--very well integrated. 

I will definitely keep an eye on this one now that I have finished the doom-and-gloom portion. 


Pretty mediocre of a story unless you like to see an MC suffer constantly in order to satisfy your own sadistic urges, the second tthat the author teases you with something good happening he makes something terrible happen to the mc. Not only that but the pacing of this story is pretty slow too so barely anything happens even after 20+ chapters. Also some characters behave illogically and show that the author doesn't really know how the minds of people work.


20+ chapters and so far it's just been bad thing after bad thing happening to the protagonist. It also feels like you could have condensed the story down. I got to chapter 26 but I had to give up on this story. Way too dark for me. I was expecting something to happen but it never really did.