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Alisiyad by Sarah R. Suleski


Twenty-year-olds Liseli Luenford and Russell Markson are living mundane, disappointing, lonely lives in a small midwestern town; working jobs better suited for high school students. Both want something more from life, though what exactly they cannot name, or even begin to achieve.

Liseli finds solace in the Mill, a building on the edge of town, long abandoned and all but forgotten. Russ comforts himself with thoughts of Liseli.

One day both of their dreams seem to come true, when together they stumble into a strange otherworld hidden in the doorway of the old Mill. But dark secrets and mysteries from the past haunt the land of Alisiya, and dreams turn to nightmares as the two become entangled in a feud that has spanned decades. In order to survive they must change who they are—to each other, to themselves, and to the worlds.

A novel, no longer online

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Listed: Jun 28, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

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A Stepping Stone Into A New World

By Drew Daniels, editor

Jul 22, 2008: Alisiyad is/was one of my favorite webnovels from the start, to the point of me borrowing the site design and layout for my own novel.

The story is about two ordinary people thrust into an extraordinary circumstance. It starts out simple enough with two people who are outwardly contemptuous with one another while (at least one of them) secretly longs to simply be around the other.

The prose is beautifully written. I generally have a bad habit of rewriting other author’s sentences in my head to make it flow better in my mind, but I rarely had to do that with Alisiyad as Sarah was extremely quick to fix the errors that were pointed out to her.

I will admit that there are parts that seemed as if they should have been drawn out longer, but its more of an afterthought because I can tell you that while reading Alisiyad, I was constantly chomping at the bit for more, frequently finding myself disappointed at the lack of a "Next" link.

The supporting cast can seem a bit blurry at times, though this may have to do with the fact that Russ and Liseli are more concerned with getting themselves out of their predicament.

The author herself openly engages her readers in conversation, responding to most if not all of the comments that are left.

I don’t really know what else to say about this story except that I believe it to be a Web-Novel landmark.

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A riveting story

By Donna Sirianni, editor

Jul 21, 2008: I was hooked on this story immediately. The characters are instantly relatable and the situations they’re in I know can hit home to so many people, especially the burgeoning relationship between the two main characters. This isn’t a heavy fantasy piece so if you’re looking for flaming swords and sorcerers, you’re barking up the wrong tree. I would say this is a mild, or light, fantasy, where there is magic about the world Liseli and Russ come across but it’s subtle and part of everyday life, something that’s kept in [more . . .]

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Other Worlds

By Sonja Nitschke, editor

Jul 8, 2008: Alisiyad is a story, first and foremost, about people. Our protagonists have stumbled into another world and they are trying to get home. It’s not easy creating a world different from our own, but Sarah does it well, successfully including bits of history and myth without overshadowing the plot.

As Liseli and Russ travel through Alisiyad, they encounter experiences along the way that are sometimes good and sometimes grim. Sarah doesn’t flinch from the darker aspects of Alisiyad, but instead faces [more . . .]

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Much Love

By G.S. Williams, editor, author of No Man An Island

Jul 21, 2008: When you strip away the details, every story is about one thing. Some stories are about war, or mystery, or friendship. A lot of stories are about love.

"Alisiyad" is one of those. But it does it so well that it reinvents the love story. Liseli and Russ start out as two awkward young adults who don’t get along, and events (and their hearts) conspire to thrust them together, strengthening their relationship through adversity and triumph, peril and tragedy.

[more . . .]

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Most Helpful Member Reviews

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Another old reading

By EramosE, author of Kaiserin

Oct 24, 2013: I read this a few years ago, and really loved it. I think it deserves a review.

This story is about Liseli and Russ, two people who are not happy with their lifes, working in a burger restaurant, caught in routine, being miserables until something extraordinary happens to them and they end up in another world. After Liseli and Russ found themselves in a new, strange world, they start falling in love with each other (or finally being aware of that [more . . .]

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To think I almost stopped!

By Sora, member

Aug 11, 2008: Summary: Two young adults, Russ and Liseli, are transported to a magical world of Alisiya. After drinking water from a mysterious river, they are thought to be a part of a prophesy. Russ and Liseli get tangled in a web of lies and deceit, as well as keeping secrets from each other that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

Likes: What I liked most about this story were the characters. They aren’t remarkable nor are they perfect. They [more . . .]

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