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Herah was many things: a master artist, a zealot Cendruex, a brutal fighter, and now, an unwilling participant in a deadly game known as Recompense.
As one of her Maker’s many gifted, Herah (alongside many others) has been summoned from her universes to complete a set of “acts”, with each act having its own task that must be completed.
If won, Herah shall be granted a single wish with very little restrictions in what she can get, but if lost not only will she lose her home, her family, and her people but her entire universe.
With this threat hanging over her head, her Maker playing her like a puppet, an antagonistic human leading her, and the demons of those around her popping up, Herah is in for the battle of her life.
But Herah’s a master artist, and as far she’s concerned battle, no matter the type, is exactly that: an art.
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Hello and welcome to Battle is an Art, a novel that's surprisingly not a story about highschoolers who do battle by drawing weapons and animals who come to life. Misleading Title+Cover notwithstanding, BIAA is a whole lot more original and a whole lot more interesting than that premise. At its core it's a story about teamwork and relationships, so if you're into heavily character-driven stories and long, creative battle scenes, do give it a shot. Okay, let's get into the details, here goes:
Grammar: There are a few problems, especially when it comes to tenses, but overall the grammar is much better than 90% of stories on RR. It shouldn't really bother most readers too much.
Style: For the most part, the story's style is pretty decent. Very detailed and imaginative, it paints a clear, evocative image of whatever's happpening at that moment. Sometimes things get a bit fancy and it doesn't always work, and sometimes the detailed style slows important scenes down too much and lessens their impact a bit, but overall it does a good job at conveying the story.
Characters: The characters. Okay... uhm... the characters are... detailed like the style, I'd say. Just about every character is named, and just about every named character is complex and multilayered. It's actually fantastic how the author manages to make every character feel like a real person who matters, even beyond the scope of the story.
However, sometimes the story loses focus as a result. In some instances, characters are asked innocuous questions and they answer them with several paragraphs of backstory that seems unnecessary for the story at large. Some very minor characters, the kind who wouldn't even get names in other novels, get a full MC treatment, with a complex character, a backstory and a complete character arc, when all I wanted to know was what would happen to the main cast next. Also, a lot of the characters are... pretty unlikeable to me, though at least that doesn't include the MC who is great for the most part. More details on this in spoiler tags.
Alex is a major pain to me. I understand that he was supposed to be unlikeable, but he's a full-blown villain, treating his own allies like dirt and getting enjoyment out of the torture of others. The guy is a mass-murdering psychopath, but instead of being the main villain of the story, he is treated like the typical rival character, with the whole 'begrudging respect' trope and everything. It feels... pretty unnatural and, to me, frustrating.
Max is pretty bad too, and she was supposed to be the main love interest. First, she throws her devoted brother under the bus multiple times, insults and even attacks him, just to ingatiate herself with random strangers. Then, she 'falls in love' with someone she's known for a day or so, just because 'she's hot' I guess. She also seems pretty obnoxious to me, most of the time.
Giving characters some distinct quirks is fun, but she doesn't need to make constant references to marvel characters in the weirdest of situations, I understood that she likes comics the first time. Same goes for her constant unprovoked bragging about how many people she's banged. It's... weird at best. This is even weirder since the same thing is done much more elegantly with other characters.
So yeah, if you like deep, complex characters and don't mind them being a bit frustrating for a possible payoff later, this section would get full marks from you. Unfortunately, my preferences are different, so it doesn't.
Story: First of all, the world, setting and setup are super creative and unique. Even so, most of it remains familiar enough from other, older stories that you won't be confused reding any of it. There are many strong story moments and twists, and you can tell that the author has put a lot of thought into the entire plotline. Overall, this section is a definite plus. However, due to the strong focus on characters and the slow style, the pace of the story can slow down to a crawl sometimes, which isn't great. Plus, I'm not sure the character motivations, or the stakes, work all that well in the grand scheme of things. That might sound pretty vague, but I don't wanna spoiler stuff, so you'll have to read the spoiler tags below unless you want to take my word for it.
The entire plot revolves around basically god grabbing a bunch of super-powered people and telling them to fight for his amusement (I paraphrase), but beyond threats from their quest giver, none of them have any reason to fight. There are no personal stakes to start us off, so it's all a bit sterile.
Also, there seems to be no reason for these specific characters to be there. Although they are all pretty strong and have cool, unique powers, in their very first challenge, they turn out to be too strong, so the god adjusts the difficulty. He gives their opponent constant unfair advantages to make it more entertaining for himself. To me, that felt pretty unsatisfying. At that point, the characters could have just as well been average people, and then the god would give them the advantage, with the same final result.
Oh, finally, Herah, the MC, seems pretty underpowered compared to the rest of their team. All of them have ridiculous playground-level powers akin to 'I have the power to do whatever I want', which makes her seem pretty weak in comparison. Basically, her greatest value seems to be that she's randomly friends with an OP pencil, who's strong enough to fight a god (best character, by the way). Now her being weak wouldn't be a huge problem, but since the first chapter sets Herah up as a major badass, it feels like a broken promise from the author to me.
Okay, that was a lot of words. If you're still here, I'm just gonna sum up everything again. BIAA is a story filled with good action scenes, creative worlds, fleshed-out characters and neat powers. If that speaks to you then read away. If you're bothered by slow pace, a flowery style and an unfocused story though, this might not be for you.
Glance Review - Written at Chapter 1.
I couldn't tell you a lot about the style, it just sort of existed. It didn't add to the immersion nor did it take me out, although some paragraphs could've done with being smaller (in my personal opinion). I do suppose that's a sign that it worked though.
Grammar was solid, I didn't notice any mistakes or any spelling mistakes. There were some missed opportunities to put colons or semi-colons, but that can come down to a style choice. Helped keep me in the immersion.
No idea what the story particularly was in the first chapter, but it definitely has things that will be developed as the story progresses. Most of it felt long though, with a lot of long names being dropped that I feel like I wouldn't remember. There was so much that I couldn't differentiate what was important or what wouldn't be important for a story, since all of it seemed irrelevent other than La Flemme (is that it?).
I think the story will definitely get better as time progresses. The fight scene in this works well for showing how powerful Herah is, but massively undermines the strength of everyone else. It's a shame that it couldn't have been done where she is seen as powerful, but at the same time, no one else is seen as massively weak.
There's one thing that I'll always dislike, and that's: arrogance. Straight off the bat, Herah annoyed me. She was brash, uncontrollable, carefree (in all of the wrong ways) and so set in her ways that it annoyed me - and I don't even know if her way is the good way yet.
Throughout the entire fight, I was rooting for Rose, so I am highly disappointed that she didn't even get injured that much. I do hope that she gets some character development to maybe be a bit nicer. Although, I do have to admit, she's well written for an anti-hero (hence why I raised it from 3 stars to 3.5).
The first chapter was well written, the grammar was good and it didn't seem like there were any spelling mistakes. There's a lot of things that are clearly seeds to be grown and developed, and while they don't seem appealing from the getgo (due to the abundance) it will definitely get better as time goes on.
If you're looking for an anti-hero lead, I'd say that this is promising. Just as long as you like some overpoweredness and a bit of arrogance/stubbornness. It's not my cup of tea, but I'm sure it can be yours. Give it a try, see what you think.
It’s sometimes hard to judge something you like and then wonder how easy it is to recommend to other people.
Case and point, Battle is an Art.
In short summary, I don’t know if I’d recommend it to everyone. It’s detailed, but full of mountains of lore than can be a lot to take in. The characters are interesting, but extremely off-color and don’t usually fall into any definable tropes. If you want to read something very weird and wacky, I’d suggest this for sure.
To explain, the story revolves around Herah, a dragon-lady of sorts who is part of a race called the Cendreux. She’s gifted with a number of pretty awesome powers, most notably her sentient pencil Jeffrey, who can literally draw things into reality.
Throw in brother and sister Alex and Max, whose own powers could be called border-line godlike, and metallurgist gnome Owen, and you’d probably be wondering where the stakes are and why you should care. Thankfully, things take a turn when Norwe is introduced, a literal god in a sense who involves the main group in a tournament of sorts called Recompense. The winner gets to keep their universe and get a wish from the Maker, while the losers get their universes destroyed. Norwe does that purely for amusement, but it’s effective in raising the stakes in a story that otherwise has immensely powerful characters.
What follows all this is a series of vignettes as Herah, Max, Owen and Alex travel together and face off against different enemies and monsters, including a whole planet of Oni and other frightening threats. Later on, universe-ending beings called Abyss Walkers are hinted at, so powerful they make most of the main cast look like minnows.
As someone who’s personally become invested in this story, I still stand by my point that it may bit a bit hard to recommend. I think most of the flaws lie in the beginning, throwing us into the world and introducing many concepts and ideas all at mach pace. With some minor editing, maybe even a small prologue explaining the multiverse of the setting, I think the story could be far more accessible.
As it is, the story gets far better after the first three chapters, easier to understand and get invested in. It has a lot of unique ideas and crazy characters, and though it sometimes gets a little ahead of itself, I think it only has great potential from here on out.
If you want something completely out-there and willing to have a good time, this one is certainly for you.
Final score: 4.5/5
Battle is an Art is a very original story with a diverse cast of characters and a lot of ideas behind it that are far from the usual stereotypes that one can see on this site. It is a tale that can't be found just anywhere and creates a definitive blend of action, crazy concepts and ideas and wild, interesting characters. From its very beginning it just escalates and throws new and amazing plot elements to create an insane (in a good sense) ride of a story. It is a fantasy outside of the norm that is definitely worth reading just for its interesting premise.
Style - It's plain and simple. There isn't any flowery or outstanding prose, but the style gets the job neatly done. It gets things across easily and is clear and clean. There are some things to be wanted by the vocabulary, but it's unnoticeable if you don't search for it. The characters' dialogue is the best thing, as it's sharp, thought out and clever. The profanity may upset some people, but I can't be bothered by such a thing.
Grammar - There are mistakes here and there, but nothing too major. The first two chapters had a bigger amount of them and that's the sole reason I give a 3,5/5 for the grammar. Beware - it gets better from there on and the rare mistakes aren't too noticeable.
Story - One of the best things about the novel is its story. Without giving anything away I'd say that the setting is unique and the plot is dynamic, full of action and twists. It escalates quickly and can be a delight to read. There are a bunch of crazy and awesome ideas thrown it that made the overall wildness of the story just more enjoyable.
Characters - they are all very distinct from one another and their unique quirks, abilities and traits are properly developed. From the basic details like the race to minor things - they are all nicely fleshed out. You'll laugh with them and be amazed. They are a colorful bunch of creatures - from the human characters to the tiefling-like Cendreux that can be a little bit... hotheaded, to the gnomes and others. There is a sentient pencil, god damn it (if this isn't able to interest you, I don't know what can)! I definitely liked them more or less from the first page.
Conclusion: Battle is an Art is a wild fantasy story with interesting setting, distinctive characters, well-thought plot and nice specks of humor added in and the plain style and grammatical mistakes can't make it less enjoyable. Everything I've read so far has been of high quality. My overall score would be easily justifiable 4,5/5.
Style: The style was the biggest problem I had with this fiction. The prose felt very dense and convoluted to read, with the ideas not expressed very clearly in each paragraph. There was a lot of telling, where the author would outright just tell the reader a fact rather than describe it a more elegant and active manner (showing). As a result, I was unable to become fully immersed in the setting, which is quite interesting and well-thought out.
Grammar: Despite the other reviews, I didn't find much fault with this. Maybe it's because the author edited the earlier chapters, but nothing glaring stood out.
Story: The story is fresh and unique, with a vibrant setting full of its own races, magic and environments. I was disappointed I couldn't get into it more because of the prose; it's really not the typical type of setting you'd find on a site like this.
Character: I really liked the protagonist's personality, a lot of which is shown (and not told). The side characters are also unique and memorable. No real complaints here.
Overall: The sole reason I rated this 4 and not 4.5 or 5 was because the style really bogged me down. If you're not pedantic about prose and are in search of an interesting world and a high-concept story, I would recommend this. It's fantasy at its core—a fantastic new world never seen before, far removed from the sword and sorcery that's bogged the genre.
So far, this has been a very enjoyable novel to read, and i would like to thank the author for that.
The writing has been really good so far, with the author not being afraid of constructing complex sentences and using hard words to improve reading quality. Althrough there are certainly points in where the writing could be improved.
The main quality of this novel lies in the overall story and its characters. But another major point is how the author does the battles in his story.
The overall story so far has been stellar, with it only having gone through the prologue and the first trial so far. Even if the fights have dragged on a lot (thanks to a certain character everyone knows), they still have been very good and highly descriptive.
All the characters so far have been interesting to read, the 4 main characters for the Recompense are all seriously overpowered in their own ways, yet also flawed in their personality and with limits to what they can do with their powers.
Even the side characters so far are interesting to read about and likeable . The only expection is Norwe, screw him that insane creator! The fact that the author made a character that people can dislike like that, while still keeping up the quality of the story, is just amazing.
In conclusion, please go read this hidden gem, it is far tooo low popularity for how high quality it is.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. What defines that power doesn't matter, but when you have it, you can do whatever you want.
Call it corruption, call it moral bankruptcy, hell you can lay down and die about it if you want, but this story is a fine example of displays of power and I love it.
The story itself, as of yet, mattered little to me than the simple fact that several harsh concepts are forced upon the main characters by a God seeking entertainment and God damn, I love how it plays out so far.
This deserves far more publicity... Unfortunately it needs a goddamn translation tool as well!
Battle is an Art is a beacon of originality and freshness in a website that's otherwise swarmed by almost identical stories.
-The grammar is good.
-Worldbuilding is top notch and the reader can see that the author has put a lot of thought into his characters.
-This story is filled with original and wonderful ideas; the plot and setting are unique.
-The characters are well written, they all have very distinct and consistent personalities.
-The humor is great.
-Not enough releases.
-A few grammatical errors here and there, but it doesn’t detract from the reading experience.
I read the first three chapters. Then I read them again. It overly complicated, and at the same time lacking in proper description. Kind of baffling.
I didn't get that the main character's race even had tails until chapter 2. Much less what they look like? After three double read chapters, I guess that they're anthropomorphic dragons. More than that, it took a handful of paragraphs to understand that the protagonist wasn't human.
You go to the trouble of giving the race a name, but It's not a name I recognize, so, again, I'm left in the air.
then you throw in ...sentient pencils? Seriously. description.
Also. Might be a cultural thing but the dialog between the parents and child was super inappropriate. Angry I get. But you don't say "Who's getting fucked now?" that's a super rapey vibe. And you're gonna lose a lot of audience with things like that.
It boils down to initial descriptions. Give me some. seriously. Get in there, and make me a sammich of tasty descriptions. Rework those first few chapters where characters are introduced and describe them. If it's humans, you can get away with simple things like a tall brunette, or a skinny girl with a lost expression. but when you have a new race... man! I need details.