Summary

The Empire stands triumphant.

For twenty years the Dread Empress has ruled over the lands that were once the Kingdom of Callow, but behind the scenes of this dawning golden age threats to the crown are rising. The nobles of the Wasteland, denied the power they crave, weave their plots behind pleasant smiles. In the north the Forever King eyes the ever-expanding borders of the Empire and ponders war. The greatest danger lies to the west, where the First Prince of Procer has finally claimed her throne: her people sundered, she wonders if a crusade might not be the way to secure her reign. Yet none of this matters, for in the heart of the conquered lands the most dangerous man alive sat across an orphan girl and offered her a knife.

Her name is Catherine Foundling, and she has a plan.


A Practical Guide to Evil is a YA fantasy novel about a young girl named Catherine Foundling making her way through the world – though, in a departure from the norm, not on the side of the heroes. Is there such a thing as doing bad things for good reasons, or is she just rationalizing her desire for control? Good and Evil are tricky concepts, and the more power you get the blurrier the lines between them become.

Updates every Monday and Wednesday.

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8 thoughts on “Summary

    1. OmniscientQ

      While it *is* an awesome cliffhanger, keep in mind that you’re talking about A Practical Guide to Evil. This series is pretty much made of awesome cliffhangers. I’m pretty sure this episode (again, awesome in its own right) pales in comparison to just about any chapter involving the demon.

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  1. Does your site have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but,
    I’d like to send you an email. I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested
    in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.

    Like

  2. Terion

    This chapter suffers a bit from “made up words”. A relatively large amount of new terms are introduced, especially in the beginning. At some point it started to become too much, and all the new words blended together and I couldn’t remember which one was which exactly. I suggest that some words are simply rewritten to plain old English, and that the exact in-universe term is introduced later, when it becomes relevant. That way new terms are spread more throughout the story, and you do not overload a reader with new, hard to remember, definitions.

    Loved the rest of the chapter

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  3. Hey there, thanks for writing this great story. After two weeks of reading it pretty constantly, I’ve finally caught up with the story at the end of book 2, and I’ve been having a blast. You’re a great writer, I wish you the best of luck in your endeavours (both in writing and otherwise), and I’m looking forward to following the story now that I’ve caught up.

    When I see something great, I get the desire to improve it. I don’t currently have good criticisms of your writing, but I do have a ton of small suggestions for improving the site which hosts it. You’ll find the theme running through most of these suggestions is making it easier for your readers to discover what you’ve created. Feel free to use or ignore these suggestions, as you see fit.

    1) The post I’m commenting on is the pinned Summary appearing at the top of the blog at the URL https://practicalguidetoevil.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/summary/; for some reason, it’s different in content to the summary at https://practicalguidetoevil.wordpress.com/summary/. Is this intentional? I suggest making these identical.

    2) Also, the “Home” button at the top of the site bar links to the aforementioned extended summary page, while clicking on the title (“A Practical Guide to Evil”) leads to the main page of the blog. Suggestion: Make these behaviors identical. Maybe call the “Home” button a “New? Start here” button, or similar.

    3) Suggestions for the summary page: Mention that books 1 and 2 are complete. Mention word counts or number of pages for completed books. Also, maybe mention somewhere in the summary post where to begin reading. Your summary from 2015-03-20 at least links to the first “Prologue” chapter, but your other summary does not. Mention ways to support the guide (point to the sidebar). Etc.

    4) What’s up with the book titles on the summary page? I didn’t see these until I’d actually caught up with the story. Maybe mention the book title (or if that’s a spoiler, at least mention the fact that a new book begins) in the Prologue chapter of each book? Actually, if the book title is a spoiler, you could also mention the book title at the end of the Epilogue chapter of each book.

    5) At the top of the site, there’s a section called “Site Announcements”, linking to this page: https://practicalguidetoevil.wordpress.com/computer-problems/ – this is obviously outdated, so I suggest taking it down. Also, I’m not sure anyone would actually notice announcements if they were posted there.

    6) Concerning the table of contents at https://practicalguidetoevil.wordpress.com/table-of-contents/: Again, consider adding the book titles (currently it’s just “Book I”) etc. Also, the lists for books 1 and 2 have different indentations. Finally, perhaps mention all the bonus content on this page, as well? (especially the extra chapters, but possibly also art & maps, character list, etc. For the latter, just add a section called “Appendix” below the list of chapters for the current book.)

    7) Concerning the Character List at https://practicalguidetoevil.wordpress.com/character-list/: Maybe mention when it was last updated, and put a spoiler warning at the top? Maybe keep old, static versions of the character lists as of some point in book 1, book 2, etc. Otherwise this list will at worst be outdated whenever you publish a new chapter.

    8) Concerning the maps: Reupload the maps “Dread Empire of Praes and the former Kingdom of Callow” and “Continent of Calernia” with proper orientation. (e.g. such that north points to the top, or in any case such that the text can be read without having to re-orient the maps.) Maybe mention the existence of these maps on the summary page? (If they’re spoiler-free.) Also, this section is called “Art, Maps and Other” on the top of the site, but “Art and Maps” at the link itself.

    9) Concerning the sidebar: A reader who doesn’t read web novels won’t know what he’s supposed to do with the link to Web Fiction Guide; your link to top web fiction is much better, with the obvious title “Vote for A Practical Guide to Evil”. Maybe make the link to Web Fiction Guide analogous, and point people directly to this link: http://webfictionguide.com/listings/a-practical-guide-to-evil/

    10) More on the sidebar: Maybe rearrange stuff here, and/or merge this and the links at the top of the site, so there’s only a single list. Some stuff to rearrange or add: Consider adding a link to the Summary / “Get Started Here” link to the top of the sidebar; sort links in the sidebar by relevance; give the “Extra Chapters” section a more accurate title (as-is, one might think they’re standalone stories that have no bearing on the main story, which isn’t quite true; and importantly, they’re not spoiler-free).

    A general suggestion: Check out how Worm does some of the things I’ve mentioned, e.g. the first thing you see when you check out https://parahumans.wordpress.com/ is the line “If you don’t want any spoilers at all, click here to start!” with a link; the sidebar is separated into sections (“Read & Participate”, “Support Wildbow”), and so on. Obviously the site’s not perfect, but I really like that you’re immediately guided to the first chapter, both in the main section of the blog, and in the sidebar.

    I hope my suggestions weren’t too pedantic, but I do think that with suggestions like the above, you can make meaningful improvements to the site experience with minimal effort.

    Again, I wish you the best of luck in the future!

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  4. Dang, lessons on practical evil from Dread Empress Malicia herself. If Catherine was even half as political as Heiress, she’d be jumping for joy.

    Can I say I appreciate how “just crushing the assassin guilds is a bad idea” was a thing that was brought up? Way too many stories just sort of gloss over the real repercussions of even attempting to slaughter the criminal element wholesale like that.

    I also really like how Cat’s idealistic streak has been showing these past couple of chapters. It sets her apart from other villains, but also leads her into trouble that many of her peers would easily avoid.

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