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ACOLYTE

The food’s in the pot, but it’s just started cooking

By theredsheep, author of Pyrebound

May 4, 2019: [EDIT: Acolyte’s website has now been down for several days; I suspect the story has been discontinued—a shame!]

Acolyte is, at present, quite short—a prologue and two chapters—and hasn’t been updated in the better part of a month. Hopefully it will be resumed at some point; for the moment, we have a clear setup and characters, but only the first stirrings of a plot. What there is of it is competently done.

The world is a total hodgepodge: the prologue takes place in a futuristic society with intelligent robots and uploaded consciousness, while the main story has a distinct medieval near eastern feel (shahs, caliphates, etc.), and both feature elves and dwarves, along with several original races and concepts. The author does a good job of explaining the latter without stopping for infodumps, and it’s clear enough by the end of chapter two how it all ties together. The narrative flows nicely enough, and it would be fun to read more, as the author is clearly enjoying himself.

Any drawbacks? The dialogue can be a bit stilted at times, especially when he tries for a more formal air. When he’s informal, he does things like have a character curse an elf as a "knife-eared sow," which got a good chuckle out of me. The description of the palace and environs in chapter two goes on a bit too long as well—but really, that’s a nitpick.

He’s got something solid to work with here. Let’s see where he goes with it.

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