A gaslamp mystery. Think Inception meets The Night Circus.
Aurora’s greatest entrepreneur has been murdered, and only the truth will save Alchemist Ortez from the gallows.
Facing a heated courtroom of strangers, he must now recall the events that brought him here as a fellow alchemist probes his memory. Such is the job of alchemists: administering elixirs in order to see into the minds of men. Their dreams. Their nightmares. Their secrets.
But while everyone believes him guilty, Alchemist Ortez knows what they do not.
He was hired by the victim for a job unlike any they could imagine. Nor would they ever guess what other mysteries lie buried beneath the mountain metropolis of Aurora, a cave-enclosed city where countless gas lamps illuminate the endless night.
Updates daily until completion. The story is fully written and will be posted to Royal Road in its entirety (I promise).
An audio version of Trial of the Alchemist from Podium Audio will be published in 2023, along with a book version on Kindle.
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Eight chapters in (and a few of the Trial chapters) and I'm hooked.
The author has really beautiful prose; it's polished, with a nice attention to detail. You can really tell they enjoy the craft of writing, and I haven't seen any grammar issues.
I'm really enjoying the mystery so far and love the the way new characters are introduced. None of them feel flat; they're all living and breathing and unique, even in the shorter interactions. So far it seems like there's lot of nuance to how Ortez interacts with different people - like Mr. Day (the bad guy?), Audra (the love interest?), Bien (the confidante?), and Cassy (not sure if she'll figure much?). Ortez has a consistent voice, but he's not one-note.
My favourite chapter so far has been chapter five with the Moonlight Inn and Belle. The music and enchantment of the inn reminds me of Name of the Wind's Denna with the style, the prose, the natural-feeling witty dialogue.
The alchemy magic system is subtle but philosophical. It's used for law and for psychoalchemy, which is sort of like psychology. Some other uses too, which makes it feel really integrated into society. Ultimately, as readers, you get to see in people's heads and the wild way that conciousness flows. I hope there are more chapters where we get to see the mindscapes of characters.
Can't wait to keep reading and to see where this underground city takes us.
I read a lot of stuff on RRL. This is good and polished and interesting and good. Like happy I found it sifting through new sort of good. You know that feeling when you give something a try and find yeah this is what I was looking for even though I didn’t know it.
Story is a courtroom scene with flashbacks to the action. Magic based on memories and other mind magic. It's interesting and I want to read more, not in the HHFWM or DoTF clifhanger way, but in a meater I got invested early sort of way.
The style is clean, crisp prose. Not a lot of lollygagging around things happening. They author says what happens and moves on to the next thing that happens. Then describes that thing and moves onto the next.
I didn't notice any grammar problems. Anything that was there didn't distract enough that I noticed it. There are no semi colons, but there is one colon in the first chapter.
Characters are interesting at this point for the situations they find themselves in. They have personality and not just Gary Stuing it as nice as that can be sometimes. It's good. Give it a read.