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The world of Aelth Myrris is dying; the world-god is in her death throes. This was not caused by rampant environmental devastation, the fall-out of some cataclysmic war, nor a random happenstance of celestial events. This act of murder was entirely intentional and caused by capricious and hidden entities even more powerful than the gods themselves.
The many groups that call the world-god Myrris home have been abandoned. Once proud societies are crumbling into ruin and barbarity as those with ambition vie to seize what few bits of fading power they can. Amidst this tumult, there are still some stories to be told about those few who cling to life wanting more than power and trinkets. This is the saga of those few who hope for a better future. Those few who defy the hidden entities that devour their world. Those few who refuse to be the pawns of fate.
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This story of kaleidoscopic perspective is, in my opinion, excellent fantasy. The Vorrgistadt Saga is very intellectually engaging writing. Its flow is intentful and the writing is verbose. The very first page is a selection of in-world writing which predicts, in abstract terms, an apocalypse. The site itself is nice, and navigation is pretty good.
The first true chapter is itself a short story which received accolades. I won’t spoil anything, but it features wonderful descriptives of an eldritch being giving visions through time. Very interesting writing. It is around 17 thousand words long, which is a LOT of reading on one page, even with scene navigation. The chapters tend to be around 5-6 thousand, I believe, on the site. But on RRL, however, they are broken up, so that solves the problem for us here.
The world building is first class! Like you’d expect from a professional fantasy novel. I really enjoyed the names and gods and prophecy. There’s a plot boiling up, from the first few chapters. I can’t guess at what it may be, yet.
The vibe of this work is Tolkienesque. Very visually engaging of the mind’s eye. I’m loving the world building. It’s top notch and consistent.
The one possible con: It’s heavy reading. The title gives you the first glimpse of this, in that you will be introduced to quite a few non-English words (wasn’t a problem for me). The descriptives, grammatically polished, are thick. There is some exposition but it was implemented well and I enjoyed it. The only times I lagged (granted, my attention span has been short) was during some of the long descriptions.
A number of characters are followed and introduced in rapid succession. The author does plan to have a single protagonist, so I’m pleased with the amount of set-up which could launch the plot. The quality trend looks bright and I’m betting on an epic.
Overall, I think the number of people this would appeal to is very good. It’s polished, well-written, and takes its time. If you find yourself reading this, you’ll get something from giving it a try. Go ahead. 4 out of 5 stars.
I think this story is amazing. The amount of detail of the environment and world, mixed with complex characters makes it an awesome piece of fiction. I absolutely love the dark undertones and horror aspects of the story.
The exposition is perfect. It puts you right into the story and stimulates your imagination. The way the author weaves the terms that are specific to the story, with our universal terms works wonderfully. It makes you feel like you are part of the story, experiencing it for yourself.
Beautifully written, I love the authors style and can't wait to read more!
I like the author's style of storytelling. More show than tell. Its setting is a dying fantasy world filled with mysteries. The story is solid and I find the lexicon interesting. The world and its rich culture is unique. It felt like reading the Dune series with a fantasy setting.
As for the characters, they have a solid background and the best thing about the characters in this novel is that they are not generic and they are truly unique. Even at the beginning, there is enough character development and you can tell what kind of person they are. (I really hate Ghelta, BTW.)
I could have sworn I was reading a fiction by a professional author. The grammar is good, spelling is good, the composition works perfectly. The setting is deep, with lots of stuff to explore, the author doesn't overwhelm you, but doesn't hold your hand either. They throw you right into it and show you what is happening rather than telling you.
The author seems to genuinely care about their fans and the input they receive. Even added author notes and lexicon to get more setting stuff out and help readers. I like being able to peak into a writer's noggin like that, and to feel a part of the story with lore to read and think about when I'm bored. This author needs more support on here, and that's why I'm doing this.
The story is solid, seems to start off with a story being told and jumps right into it. It's still early in the story, so I'll change this review later on when more parts show up, but there seems to be a good sense of organization to what's going on. A feeling like the Arabian Nights stories or some kind of Greek epics.
If you dig the Tolkien stuff, or more evolved fantasy, give this thing a shot. It's damn good. I just wish there was more of it. I also want the author to explain more as the story goes along, and keep up with the cool little additions and stuff. I WANT A MAP, TOO!
This story was a truly, truly outstanding fiction. To me, it really stood out from thousands of other books on RRL, setting the bar for what all of us should try to do in our own stories.
The style and descriptions are really well painted, and I feel like I'm right there through all of it. You put me right on the scene, showing me the world and what's happening in a gorgeously written blend of dialogue and description, each word perfectly chosen and each sentence making me longing for more.
The grammar is really good, probably much better than my own. I don't really judge on grammar, but I rarely noticed grammar that detracted from the story. (And also, a shout out to all of the wonderful commenters who I sense had a part in this.)
The characters are really fresh and original, each with their own ideals, conflicting values, and each of them adding something unique to the story. The author really shows us their flaws, and in a great deal of depth. I know that some readers were upset about this, but to me, it made them really real and people that all of us can relate to. If you're looking for a perfect MC who conquers everything that comes his way, this isn't it. But if you want a group of people who make a lot of mistakes and yet really interact in an amazing way in the process, then this book is certainly for you.
The story is a darker fantasy story, with a touch of horror elements. There's a lot of suspense and mystery, and it's relatively fast paced. This isn't my usual genre, to be sure, but it was done masterfully, and for this I applaude the author.
Note: I’ve read up through the third chapter in the third arc of this series. My review will focus primarily on the first two completed arcs:
The Vorrgistadt Saga begins on an ancient island, deep below the surface, in caverns of ice and mysteries, wonders and terrors, where the ghosts of a dead city still speak to those who possess the means to the hear them. Two oracles, a knight, and a cunning creature are brought together on a mission to explore the ruins of the past . . . in an attempt to save the future.
The second arc of this story centers around a young orphan girl and the warrior who adopted her. We get glimpses into her hardships and triumphs as she struggles to find her place among a people not her own, giving this a real coming-of-age vibe.
The third arc, still in progress, begins with a young Master Oracle, trying to maintain the principles of his long-dead predecessors, as he struggles to hold his position in a corrupted Order who don’t believe that he has any business being among them.
Due to potential spoilers, I’m going to limit my story synopsis to what I’ve mentioned above and speak specifically about what stood out about this well-crafted tale.
From the start, I was impressed at how fast the writer brought the characters from the first arc to life while plunging me into the darkness below the surface. By the time I reached the end of the first part of this story, I was already invested in the fate of these first four people. I’m a firm believer that if you can make your characters real—good, bad, or indifferent—they will carry the story, bringing you along for the ride as you discover their world through their eyes. The writer does an excellent job of pulling this off in the middle of the darkness.
The building tension in the first arc as characters whispered in the dark about historical fact versus ghost-story lore, created a real sense of dread toward monsters of myth unseen . . . but felt. You just know something terrible is coming long before it does, and that’s unnerving, making for a great page-turner.
Speaking of history, I appreciated the fact that the writer did not overwhelm me with story-killing exposition, weighing down the read with the dreaded page after page of “prologue”. Often, I’ve read stories in this genre that unnecessarily force-feed me every historical detail, with the names of people and places I couldn’t possibly keep up with long before allowing me entrance into the actual story. At the start of the Vorrgistadt Saga, there is a brief introduction from the pages of an ancient text that gives the reader the necessary “snapshot” into the state of the current world, but that’s about it. A big turn-off for me when reading stories in this genre is that some writers feel they need to define all their world-building and history up front, rather than let me experience it as the tale unfolds. What I thought was brilliant in this story was how the writer introduced me to relevant history through the explorative actions of the characters themselves as they re-discovered their own history down in the caverns, making me feel like I wasn’t reading some dry text book, but rather sharing in an archaeological adventure in progress.
As much as I enjoyed the first arc, I personally enjoyed the second arc much more because it allowed me to follow one character’s life and experience this world through this young girl’s eyes, getting a strong impression of the people left over and trying to thrive from a much darker time. Also, the writer really makes this young character, and her relationship with her adopted father, very real and endearing. What I found intriguing is that, in some ways, her story is just as relevant in our time, as it was hers, making this a very relatable character in many ways.
The attention to setting details in this story make it apparent that the writer has put a lot of thought into not only the locations, but how people lived in those locations, adding another level of depth that invites the reader into each moment. Setting can be as real as any character and take on a life of its own when done correctly as The Vorrgistadt Saga has. There were times when I tried to imagine myself living among the various people, sleeping on straw beds, or standing out on some majestic mesa, wrapped in robes, while the scorching double suns tried to roast me alive and make me blind . . . I don’t think I’d last very long without my modern-day conveniences.
As far as anything critical to add, there were a handful of times when I thought the writing was unnecessarily verbose, especially during fight scenes. I believe the writer may have over-explained actions in such scenes rather than letting the reader imagine it, occasionally slowing down the momentum. There were some repetitive word usages in the same sentences that were distracting at times, and the minimal typos expected while writing a serial novel. But overall, I found nothing that couldn’t be ironed out in the editing process over time, or that hindered me from enjoying this story.
As far as the overall plot, The Vorrgistadt Saga takes its time developing, focusing more on the journey rather than rushing to get to the end, with what appears to be a deliberate design for the arrangement of each arc. I love stories like this because I don’t read serials to hurry up and reach a conclusion, that’s what stand-alone novels are for.
All in all, The Vorrgistadt Saga was an enjoyable read for me with believable characters and equally believable settings. This is a well-grounded story. The characters steal the show so efficiently that I often forgot about the many supernatural elements involved, from the use of magic to mythical beasts. I was reminded a lot about The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan while reading, not because they’re anything alike, but because I remember getting lost in those strong character stories in the same way, which was what made that series so appealing to me many years ago, and this one now.
I highly recommend this story to anyone who enjoys the fantasy genre, and anyone looking to read one for the first time. This is a good one.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I'll state here that this review was done as part of a review swap, but it also reflects my honest opinion on the story.
I will try to keep this review spoiler-free as I understand that many people look at reviews to decide whether or not they want to start a story, so... yeah.
Without further ado, lets jump into the 'goods', the 'bads' and the 'mixed' of the review.
Theres a short tl;dr section at the end of each paragraph if you just want the summarised version of what I'm trying to explain in each of them and a super TL;DR at the end for anyone who literally wants a 15-second summary of the entire review.
The world-building really shines through in the story. There is an extremely clear picture of the world painted out for the readers to follow, with a map provided for locations and a section dedicated to the lore behind the world. There is even a detailed character descriptions page that literally made me shiver at the thought of how much effort was put into that page alone. Every detail is meticulously thought out before it is executed which really shows in the writing.
tl;dr: deep plot and complex world with many elements.
The characters have very strong beliefs and their individuality shows in every scene. (Just to clarify, the earlier paragraph was focusing on the physical aspects while this focuses on the mental aspects of the characters) The characters engage the audience well and allows the reader to understand where they are coming from with everything they do. The audience can easily view the world through their perspectives and build connections with the characters as they progress in the story.
tl;dr: Good characterisation, engaging characters.
The language flows smoothly with few to no grammatical errors. The paragraphs and sentences are well structured and does not distract the reader from the story.
tl;dr: language is good.
There were parts where multiple scenes were so densely packed that it made scenes which I would probably have enjoyed individually transform into draggy sections that got in the way of actual progress of the story. I don't actually mind packed content, but the problem comes when at some point, it becomes a chore for the reader to go through said parts. This can put off many readers and even hinder attempts at re-reading the story when they recall these parts in the future.
tl;dr: There are draggy sections which can scare the reader away.
The author uses some self-coined terms in his novel to describe objects and places. This is a clear effort by the author to deepen the immersion of the reader, constantly reminding them that they are currently in the world of Aleth Myrris. While most of these terms can be understood within the context in which they are presented, it also confuses anyone who attempts to 'speed read' and prevents the readers from being 'lazy' sometimes and shutting their minds off when reading lengthier portions or sections which they might find to be slighty less enjoyable. This makes it harder for the reader to push through some parts of the story and I can see full well why some would end up dropping the series despite still holding an interest towards the story. (Well...I'm more or less speaking for myself here, but I believe I'm not the only one?...=X)
tl;dr: Reader needs to focus when reading through which might become mentally draining at times.
The fight scenes are vivid! They are filled with descriptions! It is as though you can see every small movement they make during each of their fights!...oh wait...you literally can. Once again, I placed this under mixed because I while I generally enjoyed many of the vivid descriptions of the fights and of the author paining a detailed picture allowing us to fully understand the thoughts behind each move, there were also parts where it got overly technical for me the fight became a chore to read. There is a fine line placed between vivid descriptions and overly technical ones. I personally felt that the fight in the first episode fell in the latter category and the first fight in the second episode fell into the former for me. However, I do acknowledge the fact that the line is drawn differently for each and every one of us. There is a reason why target audiences are a thing, hence I put this under mixed as it could really be a plus or a minus depending on the reader.
tl;dr: Some fight scenes are overly descriptive and might end up dragging the tension down.
All things considered, this is a well-written dark-fantasy story with a deep plot, well thought-out world and engaging characters that shine in their own unique way. The world is not one where the main characters are the only 5-year-olds among a group of babies, the characters are actually developed with individual beliefs and work towards their own purposes in reasonable ways.
So for anyone looking for a dark fantasy story with a deep and intricately woven plot, this book will probably be a good read.
TL;DR: Language is excellent, Plot is deep, Characters have strong personalities, World is well-built. BUT, Can be tiring to read sometimes and Some parts might feel draggy and overdone. All in all, nicely written dark fantasy novel. Would recommend.
Disclaimer: This review was done as part of a review swap.
For the reader:
Alright. I'll tell you my first impressions. I didn't understand the synopsis, so I ignored it and decided to jump into the story. The first few chapters were hard to get through. I'll admit, this is partly because of the mindset I entered this story with. That is, to pick it apart and look at it as a chart of flaws and perks rather than enjoy the story. That's pretty much what happens whenever I agree to a review.
They were hard to get through, yes, but satisfying. Distinct. The characters are done almost flawlessly. The world is set apart from every other story on RRL. No exaggeration.
Not one bit.
It's a dark themed world. If you're looking for sunshine and rainbows, then I turn you away. That being said, I enjoyed the theme.
I'll admit, I was bit skeptic of all the good reviews the story has gotten. Now I know it completely deserves those reviews.
How? It evoked a lot of strong emotions within me. Usually, I'm uncaring about most characters in a story, here though, I'm surprised at my outrage, sadness, and pain at one of the character's deaths.
To the Author:
Here's my advice-In the first... two? Three chapters, simplify. Take the same prose, and make it more direct. I'm not sure if others had the same problem however-it might just be a thing with me. I pretty much don't care about this issue any longer as I've read deeper into the story, but this could be a deterrent for new readers. However, it also works as an excellent filter, as anyone that reads past it is sure to stick around.
The grammar? Flawless. There are a couple typos here and there, but that's always a thing. Most I saw were three typos in a chapter, and they're nearly invisible. I only saw them because I was scanning rather than skimming. I don't have anything to say here.
Style? Again, I don't have anything to tell you there. You're all set.
Story? Same thing.
Characters? I enjoyed all of them, though I would prefer a little extra depth in a couple characters. But other than that, all set.
Overall? 5 stars. I would 4.78 if I could, but I couldn't, so I went for a full 5. I shall add this story to my favorites. Thanks for writing such an amazing piece of work!
(As of Chapter Milestones: Prologue - The Hunter X) Amazing writing, worldbuilding, and great style. This has to be one of the best novels on Royal Road Legends without a doubt.
Maybe the way that the author has chosen to name their episodes has been a problem for those who desire to follow the story?
I have had a very long love affair with fantasy, that has of late waned. I scoff at the books in Barnes and Noble with cloaked men and daggers, with the wizards and dragons. But my love of fantasy introduced me to another love that's still with me today: Dungeons and Dragons, and that's what this story reminds me of. If you love the feel of characters exploring ancient tombs, of roleplaying in a creepy crypt late at night with only candles to go by, then Vorrgistadt is sure to please!