- Sexual Content
From the author of "A Practical Guide to Evil", comes the Pale Lights series.
Book I: Lost Things
Tristan Abrascal is a thief, one of many making their living under the perpetual twilight of the greatest city in all of Vesper. Quick wit and a contract with a capricious goddess have always kept him one step ahead, until one night he crosses a line by accident that burns all the bridges he had left. But not all is lost, as his mentor offers a way out of peril that turns out to be more than a simple escape.
It is also an opportunity to get even with the infanzones, the nobles he’s lived under all his life, and it so happens that Tristan has a full ledger’s worth of scores to settle with them.
Lady Angharad Tredegar has fled halfway across the world, leaving behind a ruin of a life: her family butchered by a ruthless enemy, their estate torched and their nobility revoked. Yet no matter how far she flees the blades of assassins follow, and she finds herself growing desperate for any protection. She has one relative left to call on, her estranged uncle, but she finds that the safety he offers comes at a cost.
Angharad has sworn revenge, however, and her honour will allow for no compromise. She will do what she must to survive so that one day bloody vengeance can be visited upon her enemies.
The paths of the two take them to the doorstep of the Watch, but for desperate souls like them enrolment is a lost cause. They will have to do it the hard way instead, by surviving the trials on the isle known as the Dominion of Lost Things.
Where every year many go, and few return.
Update schedule: once a day until caught up to the wordpress version, then weekly on Fridays. My Patreon has three advance chapters.
Cover done by Gwennafran, whose work you can find here.
- Overall Score
- Style Score
- Story Score
- Grammar Score
- Character Score
- Total Views :
- Average Views :
- Followers :
- Favorites :
- Ratings :
- Pages :
Leave a review
I've been reading this on Wordpress, and prior to that, was a big fan of EE's previous work, A Practical Guide to Evil. I really think that so far, this story succeeds in all the things that made PGtE a good read. ErraticErrata is, in my opinion, one of those author's whose name should make you say "yeah, I'll give that a shot", but in case that's not true for you, let me try to convince you.
Tristan is a scrappy thief who gets in trouble, then desperately tries to claw his way out of it, and the goddess Fortuna serves as both someone to bounce off of, as well as a source of and solution to problems in a way that plays into the best traditions of trickster spirits. The deutrotagonist, Angharad, provides a good foil to Tristan in many ways, much less morally flexible, burning with anger, offering a good study in contrast. I'm very confident that these two are enough to carry a novel on, but the rest of the cast is also really good, with a richness and detail that EE's previous work has made me come to expect.
I think special note needs to be paid to the worldbuilding, which is one of the story's strong suits, and something that I'm a sucker for. Here, the whole story is dipped in the world in a way that colors every character, and one of the charms is in getting to know the world as we go, learning what off-hand words and titles actually mean. Doing this in a compelling way is difficult, and it's handled really well here. I'm always happy with the next reveal, or the way that certain things snap into place. It's a little daunting at the start, but that's something I like from stories, and it's clearly planned well enough that I don't need to worry about things that were setup not having payoffs or explanations.
In terms of grammar and style, the story is a step above the usual RoyalRoad fare, written with wit and economy, paced well, and with a mind toward being entertaining and flowing well in pretty much everything that it does. I don't think I've come across any wonky phrases or misspellings, but for a story of this sort, I don't think I would expect to.
I'd highly reccomend trying the story out. Tristan is the kind of protagonist I'm drawn to, but even if he wasn't, the story is at a level of craft that not much matches.
You can't go wrong with Erraticerrata.
Frankly, this is not the typical RR story, with statboxes and level ups. If that's what you want, move on.
But if you want a conventially well written and gripping story, do give this a try.
I am ahead of the chapters currently on RR as a patreon member, and the story doesn't disappoint. It has a beautiful, intricate and unique setting, solid characters and very clean writing.
Given the previous story he concluded (practical guide to evil) I have full confidence that this one is shaping to be potentially even better.
The two protagonists are interesting. Tristan is mote of a conventional protagonist - tricky, smart, capable of solving things creatively. Angharahad is an unintionally hilarious protagonist, as we see the worls through her somewhat naive and biased view, and we laugh and how wrong she often is. Nevertheless she is by far the more "heroic" one of the two. The suplort cast is somewhat top large initially, but the numbers are rapidly being whittled
I don't know how much more therw is to say than the title, I'm not great at reviews. This is ErraticErrata, author of one of the best web serials I have ever read, A Practical Guide to Evil, which I would put top 5 with Worm, The Wandering Inn, Mother of Learning, and RE: Trailer Trash, though I could think of other contenders.
Anyway, ErraticErrata created something deeply compelling with APGTE, which I have had the pleasure of discussing with my brother, and it has made my life that little bit richer in the way the best literature does. I've been paying ErraticErrata $5 per month since the last book of that serial, and felt so confident that I'd want to read what came next that I left the support during their break, and I have not been disappointed.
ErraticErrata is my favorite online author.
Pale Lights is his new book set in a fully original universe, with expansive worldbuilding and a massive cast, filled with interesting and intriguing characters. The main protagonists will often have opposing viewpoints, so be aware before you start reading, that all the characters are flawed and biased. If you trust both protagonists conclusions entirely all the time, you’ll end up in trouble. They both come with massive blinders, and it’ll be your task as a reader to figure out what these are. Critical thinking is advised.
This is the sort of story that quite literally will make me dedicate hours every week making fanart. My main warning would be that you may suddenly find yourself short on extra spare time after spending it on EE’s books.
i have been enjoying this for half a year on its own website and its finally here on RR!! the story is great, the characters are excellent, the world building is super interesting and unique. i highly reccomend it to everybody especially people who want a bit more intrigue than just straight fighting all the time!
This story wastes zero time, and steadfastly refuses to infantilize its readers. There's a lot of characters and names to keep track of, which can be daunting. But reading closely & carefully rewards readers with small details that will go missed by people skimming too quickly. There's lots of mystery and intrigue, and those small details let the readers try puzzling things out for themselves alongside the characters.
The two leads are great, and watching events unfold from each of their perspectives is very satisfying.
Read for great characters, feuds, fights and mystery.
The two main characters are distinct. While they meet up quite quickly in the fiction they are not tied together as their paths diverge and meet during the trials they face.
The supporting characters are largely fleshed out but one or two suffer as large numbers of people are introduced in a short period.
The combat is riveting and the world expands each chapter with well woven lore.
Incredible work, can't recommend it more.
It's all there, to be sure. Grand worldbuilding, intriguing plot threads, crisp dialogue, beautiful prose, hidden motivations and slow progress towards their fulfillment. That said, it's something that I'd prefer to read in concentrated bursts than in a web serial format. It's been difficult to keep track of the myriad characters, countries, and terms on my reading binge, so I think I would struggle to follow along week-on-week. Also, it's a fairly dark story that prioritizes realism, so if you're looking for escapist fantasy, you might be better served elsewhere. I think those are the only qualifications I had for my reccomendation, so let's get into it.
The style is exquisite, conveying vivid imagery while bringing the story to life. Both dialogue and action are sublimely crafted, a welcome breath of fresh air that graces the narrative.
Story is an interesting category to consider, as I'm loving the plot progression at the scale of chapters, but slightly less so when I look at the overall whole. There are overarching goals for both characters, yes, but at points when character agency is stripped away in all but name, are the steps they take towards them truly their own? That said, there are very few portions that came across as heavy-handed, and it's quite cohesive and believable overall.
For grammar, the only problem was a few missing commas. Not bad for 75,000 words of content, not bad at all.
Finally, character. The story definately shines here, as there are simply too many that have been fleshed out to mention. They are memorable, if not by name, then by characteristics and mannerisms. Interactions between them are sharp and meaningful.
Overall, I'd definately say it's worth reading. The author has a proven track record, and the story is wonderful in it's own right.
My favourite Web Novel author returns for another banger of a story, now with all the lessons and experience from PGTE to make this an unforgettable read. Full disclosure, I'm currently on chapter 29 on Wordpres, so a bit farther then RR has right now.
Th writing flows of the page and gives a real immersive atmosphere to the world, so much worldbuilding is stuffed in ordinary thoughts and dialogue without it ever feeling forced. The characaters are just living in the world, and through their interactions with it we learn of it with always just enough context to understand it, without it being exposition. It's truly remarkable how much we learn over the course of the story without big exposition blocks, and when there are some it's always interesting enough you're happy to read it.
In what I consider one of EEs staples, the dialouge is phenomenal. It's fun and interesting, with every character being distinct in their manners of speach.
Not much to say about grammar, it's good, much better then the original release of PGTE lol, or at least it seems so to me.
THE STORY on the other hand is so fucking cool, I won't gush about it too much because spoilers, but man is it interesting. There's so much stuff going on, in the background and in the foreground, that it's kinda hard to keep track sometimes, but it's all interesting and flows together so well. It is paced very well, constantly keeping tensions high and stuff happening. Honestly, with how much happened already I'm always surprised that we're only 29 chapters in lol
The world is very unique, (which is a rare find nowadays) and it's build up very well, with a lot left to the imagination. It feels real and lived in and mysterious and dangerous as f*** lol.
Everything I talked about already would be enough for me to give it 5 stars, but I haven't even talked about my favourite part! The Characters! Oh the Characters! This novel has a huuuge starting cast and even though not everyone gets tons of attention everyone gets enough for them to feel unique and distinct from each other. And that's not to mention the main cast. Both protagonists are very well made and a joy to read. As I already mentioned, they really have their own voice and thought patterns that are unique to them, and their interactions are a joy to read.
At the end of the day, my only critique is that there's not more for me to read RIGHT NOW, and I don't know if I can give much higher praise lol. Go read it, and then read PGTE. I heard it's coming out bigger and better on Yonder.
Full disclosure, I've already read up to ch 29 on the Wordpress mirror, and read all of EE's previous work, A Practical Guide to Evil. I already know the author's storytelling abilities and trust them to make satisfying narratives. They're good. You don't end up having a successful web novel, especially one as long as PTGE, on a godsdamned wordpress site without some amount of skill.
They write characters believably and are unfailingly consistent with their grammar, barring small typos caused by the sheer amount of words they put on the page. Chapters are THICK, especially compared to the average RR story.
The worldbuilding of Pale Lights makes it obvious that EE has spent a lot of time and effort thinking about the politics and layout of a world covered in darkness, even if the struggles and plot are relatively grounded. The powersets of the main characters and the world around them already promises a larger-than-life conclusion, and we aren't even out of the first arc.
If I would give any single gripe, it would be the sheer size of the cast of characters. There are around thirty or so people in the trials, which, on a weekly release cadence, are easy to confuse with one another. This issue is exacerbated by Tolkienesqe numbers of locations mentioned, as each of the 30 characters have unique backgrounds and places of origin. This is not a light read – I sometimes find myself wishing for a wiki that doesn't exist (at the time of writing this, at least. That might change). Binge reading the early chapters helps with this issue.
Realistically, though, the main pair of characters are grounded enough that the core story is easy to follow, even if I keep confusing which Cerdan brother is which.
This is worth reading. Go. Click read button.