Highborn (The Stormforth Chronicles)

by Jordan Stufflebeam

Original HIATUS Action Adventure Fantasy High Fantasy Magic Male Lead Multiple Lead Characters Ruling Class Strong Lead War and Military

Highborn, the Guardians of Alluvion, have vanished from Alluvion. Destin, though physically weak possesses that very power of the Highborns, yet this forgotten knowledge was kept secret until a vision of another Highborn lead him into a journey to restore that lost magic in world, reawakening this lost power.

Guided by the help of his dwarven friend Goddar and Highborn Master Gideon, they will oppose the High King of Arthemis to empower the rebellion and again bring order to the land. An inheritor of the lost power, Destin has hidden his secret his entire life in his bid to remain alive. While his secret may be safe inside the prison camp of Vertrock, there’s no guarantee he’ll keep his life much longer. Physically weak but determined to survive, he quietly plots his escape.

The High King of Arthemis will do everything in his power to bury the knowledge of the Highborn once and for all. With a rebellion on the rise, Destin and his friends will have to rise above the obstacles in their path to bring balance once more to a war torn land.

However, his potential unlocks with the key of his belief.

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Jordan Stufflebeam

Jordan Stufflebeam

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J P Koenig
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Delightfully Written High Fantasy

Highborn is a delightfully written story, a classic fantasy tale of a nobody becoming somebody, of magic being discovered anew and villians who want to suppress that magic (and thus, the main character).  This review is written as of Chapter 9.

The Good

The characters are well rounded and well thought out, and give the impression of complexity and depth despite adhering to (mostly) classical fantasy races and their tropes.  The main character is a human who has magic ("highborn").  He befriends a dwarf who mines in a mountain, and teams up with an elf who is an archer.  There are some twists on both racial tropes that I won't spoil, because they are interesting and fun to read, and give the story some freshness that high fantasy often lacks.

Additionally, the story is coherent and the plot has a strong direction.  The pacing is solid, keeping things interesting even while worldbuilding and setting up the conflict between the main character and the villians.  The author does a good job describing battles, and keeping up tension.

The Bad

There is very little bad here.  The grammar is solid and only very minor mistakes.  There is the occasional lack of coherence in transitions between chapters and in some dialogue.  It's pretty clear this is the author's alpha version of the story, but all of this is easily fixed with a first-pass edit.  It did not detract from the story at all.

TL;DR

Great story, excellent characterizations, fresh take on high fantasy.  Minor edits needed, but very well written overall.  Highly recommend giving it a try!

abdirahman
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It is a classic high fantasy with interesting twists and turns. The same formula but with the author's characters, magic system, and setting. 

What I found great about this story was the characters, whether it be the good guys or villains. They all are well rounded and are not the stupid, idiots that make up a lot of trashy- isekai books that take up so much clot. 

Also the story has a good pace, which is great since we are not stuck in one spot. The author, Jordan Stufflebeam, seems to know where he is taking the story.

What I recommend for the author to do, if he wants to be ahead of the crowd, read other High Fantasy novels. 

Zachary Dugas
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TLDR: a fantastic classic high fantasy book with a more modern writing style, if you like the classics like the wheel of time, the wizards first rule, or even the more modern inheritance cycle then you will like this one. It is well done and enjoyable and I am glad to see more people writing epic high fantasy like this.

and now for the long version lol:

overall I am giving this a five out of five, you can tell the author has read the classics and likely grew up on them like I did. This was like coming home to find mom had baked me a good hot meal after a long hard day, it just hits the spot.

 

The style is great, so 4.5 out of 5, I personally want a little more descriptions but people tell me I write walls of text so that’s likely only me lol.

story score 5 out of 5  what we have here is a classic hero’s tale of starting at the very bottom and working up, its tried, true and with the changes Jordan has made to the formula it works really really well.

grammar: it’s good, better than most on the site for sure.

characters: well written and rounded to an extreme, they fit the world and feel real with the MC being the highlight. Out of his depth for sure but still somehow afloat, it’s all good really well written and good.

so go read it, NOW.

Mejiro
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A traditional fantasy, of the old school

An interesting start to an old-school fantasy story, with orcs, dwarves, wizards and kings and so forth.  There's ancient legacies, lost magic, old mentors, evil orcs and so forth.  It's very much still getting all the pieces into position to set things up as the introduction to a story rather than a series of serialised stories or chapters that are complete in themelves.  There's some interesting setup going on, but it is paced like a full novel, so is taking a while to get there.
It's readable, but the general flow and grammar could do with some tightening up - there's a lot of odd sentence fragments where there should be a comma, or split into two sentences, which can make it a little jarring to read.
ER Mixon
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Stufflebeam delivers a gripping and perilous fantasy adventure that leaves the reader fully invested in the characters.  

THE GOOD

The first and later arcs are both fairly solid. The heroes are likable and three dimensional and the villains are effectively menacing.  The storytelling conveys an epic scope while staying focussed on the immediate goals at hand. At it's best Highborn (the stormforth chronicles) has the reader dying of suspense and fully immersed in a supurbly built world.

THE NOT SO GOOD

The style and grammar need a lot of work in some places.  There is also a dip in the mid chapters where much of the momentum is lost. It becomes very telly and a little rushed at spots. 

THE CONCLUSION

I urge readers to push past any trouble spots as the story does come back around and the later chapters are back up to standard. Overall it's an enjoyable read and I'm interested to see what happens next. 

I'd recommend it for most people. 

 

Arthicern
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A good fantasy story, that needs a bit of polish

Like stories of old, this story begins with a character who is as low as he can be through external circumstance, but still possesses a destiny in his world by being one of the few remaining 'highborn,' magic users the human kingdom has been trying to wipe out for centuries. 

From there the opening act revolves around Destin, the main character, a year into his internment at an orcish prison camp, as he befriends Goddar the dwarf and the two work to escape, in a grand set piece as they lead a small rebellion for the freedom, only to discover even once free the kingdom still wants Destin dead.

At its core Highborn is a good fantasy story for those who enjoy high fantasy novels filled with large action sequences and events that play out in a fantasy world of old. Where magic has been lost, save to the few trying to rekindle its embers, while fighting against the kingdom that pushed magic to the brink of extinction.

I'll admit at times the story does suffer from a bit of a pacing issue, in the sense that a number of the scenes are meant to be these epics of a sort, which at the right time works. The problem though is that this pacing carries over into scenes that are supposed to play out a little more emotionally than the action pieces, giving them a more agressive feel.

At the same time, some of the 'in the moment' character development during these sequences feel a little wobbly at times. Such as how the party all seem to 'click' pretty quickly, without any in depth development between. Adimit ably, this is a habit fairly common in adventure stories, with the heroes rapidly bonding after a harrowing encounter together.

With all of that said though, Highborn is still a good high fantasy novel in the style of the older fantasy novels, a genre you don't see too much of these days as everyone leans towards more modern fantasy styles, making it a treat for fans of the older styles. And while there are some flaws here and there, I do think if the author polishes up the grammar, and works on a few of the rougher scenes, this story can be something greater in its final version.