- Sexual Content
- Traumatising content
The story follows the girl Nannade, who is a crolachan, a half-beast, half-human race that has become almost the stuff of legends in a world in the process of an enlightenment. By her teacher Garrett and the witch Elissa, she is trained to find, apprehend and even kill rogue mages to secure the power of the magic wielding governments. As she grows into a young woman, she dares to walk her own path and quickly sees herself confronted with the consequences and opportunities her mistakes and decisions open up for her.
She needs to brace herself for incoming changes and be careful who she involves in her secret life as she travels the world and sees wondrous things in a world empowered but also controlled by mages, druids and warlocks.
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A lovely and evocative fantasy story in a well thought out world populated by multidimensional characters. I strongly encourage you to read what may eventually become a fantasy masterpiece.
Edit as of 06/01/2019 - later chapters continue and mayhap even improve upon the immersive sense of the huge and mysterious world.
it is a story for the long haul, though clear arcs give focus to key themes along the away
I highly recommend it for those who appreciate sophisticated tales over wish fulfillment and OP stomping heroes
excellent grammar and descriptive style. Varied sentence structure and broad vocabulary. The writing far exceeds RR amateur standards though it mostly falls slightly short of published solid fantasy (as one would expect). However, at times it reach the lyrical and consummate style of good published fantasy and encountering those sentences and paragraphs is like finding shining diamonds amidst less but still valuable jewels
I would say this webnovel is more oriented towards adventure and a character driven slice of life “journey of growing up” over heavy action and combat themes, though those types of scenes are done quite well when they occur. There’s a real sense of wonder that the author creates some from what the MC feels as she adventures and some just due to the complex world, scenes, and woven in background / history.
As far as characters, I feel this is where the work shines. the MC is complex and traumatized and intriguing. Feisty and likeable. She (along with well realized side characters) grows and develops naturally and all the characters act in line with who they are rather than being forced to behave out of character to simplify the plot etc. the relationships between the characters are comfortingly believable, often heartwarming, and not simple.
edit as of 6/01/2019
the story continued to impress me as the character nears competence and adulthood and the world building opens up to even grander backdrops and challenged. Earlier themes about spiritualism and the notion of freedom are explored. Actions have deep consequences which feel realistic whether they end in joy or suffering.
It was high time I got around to reviewing this story. This is after the restructuring.
Varied use of language and sentence structure overall. I’m not too fond of the paragraphing style, but I think that was done due to RR not support indents with tab button. The visual descriptions for characters were good.
Some awkward phrasing. For example: “His name was Garrett, or Garetas to most others, and he had learned some arcane and occult secrets beside her when she was still learning under an old healer named Tirana.” Modify maybe to: His name was Garrett, or Garetas to most others. He had learned some arcane and occult secrets from an old healer named Tirana whom she was still learning under. Or …Tirana who was still her teacher. Or something along these lines. Or if this wasn’t the intended meaning, then maybe, …Tirana who had been her teacher too. The current phrasing is confusing, making the meaning somewhat unclear.
A few questions on wording. What does “dozens” mean in this part? —> “Then I got Nannade out of that basement. That was almost two dozens ago.” Meaning two dozen days, or is this some term I’m not familiar with that’s similar to a word like fortnight?
Story & Character (some spoilers ahead):
This is in order of my thoughts from start to where I left in the story. Most of the commentary begins near the end of the first arc/complete chapter(?). It mostly just details my confusion in trying to understand the plot/conflict.
I didn’t grasp the major conflict underlying all the “slice of life” learning from Garrett and Elissa and her growing up. Until this part, “The spirit coming after Nannade, the Communion distracting her, the absence of Garrett, the thugs searching her house, it was all convenient for anyone trying to hide something. And if anyone tried to hide something, Garrett would be able to uncover it. She trusted his abilities that much.” It felt like it was starting to be pieced together. Childhood and Charity IX chapter which starts leading somewhere toward a clear, compelling conflict, but then in X it goes back to slice of life. At the epilogue, a year had passed, but it felt like everything occurred in a month at most. With a year, the conflict of those after Nannade seems to turn cold. Questions of why Garrett isn’t continuing to look for the perpetrators or why the pursuers aren’t continuing. What’s up with the spirits exactly?
The romance directly in the new arc was too sudden and lacked build up. While the scene was cute, with not much history given between them, it lacked intensity. I’m also confused by the timeline/age of Nannade. At one point she’s preparing for the fertility rite, so I’m guessing that’s puberty. Then in the next chapter it says her friends have married, so she’s an adult now? Is the time skipping, or am I just unaware/didn’t pick up the clues/reading this wrong?
Freedom and Folly VIII — very confused here yet again. Why did Nannade turn against them? What exactly did she do that Garrett had kept from her? Did I miss this yet again? Two chapters later, I finally understand it was a spirit, but that still leaves the other questions of why she chose to be free, and why Garrett still keeps her if he isn’t taking her on missions, and what danger he poses to Nannade from this part: “Elissa remembered how Nannade had talked about a path only she could take. Was this it? Was the spirit really present before Garetas himself? Was it keeping the girl safe? Maybe even safe from Garrett and Elissa?” I’m confused on what the conflict is and how it arose when it seemed like she was fine living with them.
In the next part, it’s a little clarified, “They said that she had had the idea for the ritual while thinking about her teacher, Garetas, who had led her to belief her freedom would be granted, if she could take it from him, surpass him. In order to achieve this, she decided to “take a different route, one only open to her and no one else”, rather than “chase after Garetas’ stupid, thick-headed demands.” She also said the spirit had helped her, for example with altering the Lodge’s usual ritual for binding a familiar to better suit her ends.” But maybe I missed the explanation for Garrett’s possessiveness and stubbornness in pushing her to do this to gain freedom? But then Elissa says his training methods were appropriate, so why did Nannade do this once again then? Just because she’s a pubescent girl?
Nannade then says, “I was thrust here, from one slavery to the next, my life set out by everyone but me. And I was told: the only freedom is the one I can take myself. If I shall die for doing so, then let death be my eternal freedom. There is nothing I can do to sway you. You look down upon me from your centuries of experience, yet deny me my own as sacrilegious.” This doesn’t sound like how a pubescent girl would speak, but I may be thinking too much of modern times which this story isn’t set in. Still, her reasoning for her actions being wrongly labeled sacrilegious when she’s just trying to gain freedom, but I don’t get why she cares about sacrilege in terms of her actions? Or am I just reading this whole part wrong again? A short bit later, she cries like a child. “Over and over again she cried “Mammy” and “I’m sorry!” “ Then she later speaks with maturity again. How she acts for her age, I know teenagers are temperamental, but this still doesn’t seem to align believably for me. Looking at the comments in the Trial and Trepidity II chapter, upon which most of the last three paragraphs were about, it’s about desecrating blood and spirit magic together. However, this wasn’t clear to me.
Search and Scrutiny V - since the start of Nannade setting off with new friends, I wonder about the friendships which jump right in without much behind the start and development.
With all the rambling aside, I’ll reorganize myself into something more coherent and direct. I think it’s a personal taste issue, but I’d rather start with Nannade on her journey than go through Garrett taking her in and her growing up. It feels like one long extended prologue to the actual story beginning. If there was some major conflict going on in her childhood—and I suppose the desecration with the spirit pact and the trial was the biggest drama and could be considered as the conflict/turning point—then I wouldn’t mind this backstory of her youth. But as it was, when I felt like everytime something big was about to happen, time skipped and then it jumped back into ‘daily life.’ And except for her clear relationship with Garrett and Elissa, I didn’t get anything nearly as deep between Nannade and any other characters. The lack of tension and clear conflict, and Nannade from being obedient and eager to learn and be with her ‘adoptive parents’ of sorts, to rebelliously throwing aside that relationship (and not just as a pubescent action but as part of her character) just to be free (her life was okay, but she didn’t like it? Where’s the inner monologue or building up of disliking/loathing her current life?) made this extended prologue confusing/hard to follow and engage/immerse myself in.
I think the reason why I had this sort of experience was because among the slice of life parts and dialogue, there were bits of the actual plot, but they were harder to pick up and piece/string together because they got overwhelmed by the “growing up” story. With everything said, despite my confusions (which I apologize is likely due to me being a very easily confused goldfish who needs mysteries spelled out and then clearly revealed later) this story attempts to do something very different from what I usually read/see. Slice of life, in my opinion, is one of the hardest genres or subgenres to write successfully in terms of engaging the audience. Most of the time, I just find it plain boring like I’m reading fillers. This story isn’t like that. I just simply didn’t get the underlying major conflict of it all leading up to what the synopsis promises, the conflict with the magical beings that support and rule the world. Garrett at parts does point to his dissatisfaction with the system, but I never really get much of it from Nannade and what Garrett is trying to accomplish with her.
Focusing just on character, I felt like I got Nannade at times, and then I felt like I understood her wrong in the next part. Elissa and Garrett were consistent with their personalities well portrayed, but I didn’t get their motivations at times too. They mostly acted as parents/teachers, but I kept feeling like they were trying to accomplish something with raising Nannade, but I couldn’t pin anything exact down.
I’m not sure what it was like before the restructuring, but currently with the version I read, it feels like there are gaps in narration in terms of storyline/timeline as well as the clear outlining and building up of the major spirits, magic, and government conflict. But all that aside (which might just be attributed to me and what style I’m used to reading), this story is highly immersive in world building, at times even, too much at the expense of the plot. From the “what the taff” to other lingo and naming of places and people, this feels much like a different world. Very well done.
For those considering to read, I say definitely go for it. This story is likely different from what you’re used to, and it does slice of life combined with magic quite uniquely. So if you’re interested in that, then you’ll likely enjoy this story.
Tatzelwyrm deals with heavy topics such as slavery, parental loss, and confronting trauma. I enjoyed the character interactions between Garrett and his charge Nannade. The world itself is well thought out with deep lore worth exploring and a good magic system. While there are some issues with grammatical flow, it is still an overall worthwhile read.
The author has crafted good characters with great interactions with one another. The book begins with Garrett, a Hidden Hand, a hybrid rogue wizard preparing his spells, giving the readers a good impression of history, foresight, planning, and experience. A real tough grizzled veteran. He rescues our next character from slavery.
Nannade is a crolachan, a beast person with specific traits that is then rescued by Garrett. The story picks up with her liberation and journey into a new life as Garrett’s student. What I enjoyed were their magical strengths. Garrett’s a spell slinger, while Nannade leans more towards a spirit medium. Their interactions and training seems harsh until one realized the world and setting itself is harsh. I enjoy the old wolf and the young cub narrative.
Elissa is the adoptive mother of the group. The strife between Garrett and Elissa on how to raise Nannade was good, with motherhood and fatherhood clashing on the types of parental responsibility (kind vs harsh). The interactions between the two are good with a rich hidden past.
I’m a fan of well thought out magic systems and this one felt unique with complicated spells needing scrolls, using blood for enchanting, and more. The fantasy world itself is deep with different factions/nations. Garrett and Elissa hail from a druidic faction of Sturreland and the nearby nation that runs on slavery. Sturreland is made up of all sorts of magic wielders, adding more mystery to the hidden druidic faction. The style and magic system were strong.
The grammar needed a bit more editing in some areas. Felt the flow in some of the early chapters was hampered by this. I won’t hold it against the author as editing is always an ongoing process. I followed the story and characters well enough.
I quite like the story so far (up to chapter & Charity 8), there was not much world building yet, but the magic system is intriguing, and I'm very curious about the whole book.
It is very well written, the dialogues and descriptions are interesting to read. The reason why i 'only' gave 4.5 is mainly because i think some things are described with to many details, which make me want to skip some parts. But that might be jsut my reading preference.
#Grammar 5/5 (non-native speaker)
There were no mistakes grave enough to come to my attention while reading, so in my, limited, perception I'd say it doesnt have any or very few mistakes.
The story is interesting and you have an intruiging magic system here. I wonder if the medium/spirits you introduced are a second, soft magic system parallel to the 'normal' one? Not much world building up to this point, aside from a few geological and political information, which don't give much of a lead for the overall world, but i guess everything will be introduced slowly as the story develops.
Character Store 4.5/5
I like how the male lead (at least i'd currently judge him as one of two lead characters) is very organized and plans his actions carefully. What I find a bit questionable is the character of the child, if someone spends the most time of his young life caged in a brothel with her mother, i doubt it would be as innocent and pure as her character is written.
So far this story had been really enjoyable. I love Nannade as an MC, and the overall feel of this story has been great. It's written well, with little or no grammar errors. With the little bit of reading I have done so far, I could say that Nannade is probably one of my favorite female leads. I going to continue to read this webnovel and enjoy every bit of Nannade's journey.