The Acts of Androkles

by Ryan English

Original ONGOING Action Adventure Fantasy Historical Low Fantasy Male Lead Mythos Strong Lead War and Military
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore

Elevator pitch: '300' meets 'Lone Wolf and Cub'. A retired veteran has to keep some orphans from being eaten by horrible monsters.

This fiction contains the professionally-published novel Obstacles as well as the ongoing sequels. 

Back Cover Copy:
Androkles, son of Paramonos, spent twenty-five years in the world’s greatest army trying to earn enough money to buy back his good name. He’s battle-scarred, weary, and heartbroken after decades of watching dear friends die, but he survived. He’s ready to retire and be welcomed as a hero, finally able to see the reward he sacrificed so much to achieve. 

There’s only one problem: his wife just fled civilization with all his hard-won savings. Now he must pursue her north, through desperate bandits, ravening beasts, and worse. But after he rescues a pair of orphans from starvation, he is faced with his most difficult challenge yet: a question that goes to the very heart of honor. The consequences might be deeper than he realizes, and it’s not just his life on the line…

Updates Tuesdays and Fridays, 2500-3500 words (or more, but rarely less).

Book title in the chapter heading.

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If you like what you're reading, please consider
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Ryan English

Ryan English

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Obstacles - Chapter 1 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 2.1 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 2.2 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 3.1 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 3.2 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 4 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 5 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 6.1 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 6.2 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 7.1 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 7.2 ago
Obstalces - Chapter 8 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 9.1 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 9.2 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 10.1 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 10.2 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 10.3 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 11 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 12.1 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 12.2 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 12.3 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 13.1 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 13.2 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 13.3 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 13.4 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 14.1 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 14.2 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 15 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 16.1 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 16.2 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 17 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 18.1 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 18.2 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 19.1 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 19.2 ago
Obstacles - Chapter 19.3 - END ago
Doubts - Chapter 1.1 ago
Doubts - Chapter 1.2 ago
Doubts - Chapter 2.1 ago
Doubts - Chapter 2.2 ago
Doubts - Chapter 3.1 ago
Doubts - Chapter 3.2 ago
Doubts - Chapter 3.3 ago
Doubts - Chapter 4.1 ago
Doubts - Chapter 4.2 ago
Doubts - Chapter 4.3 ago
Doubts - Chapter 4.4 ago
Reviews

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Stultus
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A Story of Recovery

This story follows Androkles. After returning from war, to find his wife has just left with all the money he earned fighting for two and a half decades, he swears an oath to find her.

However, no man is immune to the whims of the gods, nor the whispers of the shadows within his own mind, regardless of how tall and mighty you are.

"Obstacles" is set in the ancient Greek world, except the existence of fantasy creatures and the gods is a little bit more guaranteed.

Androkles quest to find his wife and bring her to justice is constantly impeded, right from the very start. All the people he could have relied on are dead from fighting, and he is without a single coin to his name.

After selling his shirt and shield, and setting out on the road, he meets two small beastkin children, starving and lost.

The gods themselves seem set on stopping Androkles entirely.

 

I rate the story as of chapter 16 as extremely well done, as it clearly outlines the actual plot, and who our main character is.

The character himself is also done well, as he is written as you would expect from a man from ancient Greece; sexist, racist and aggressive by today's standards, and completely normal by ancient Greek standards. However, the writer stops him from being aggravating and unlikeable to read about by making it clear that Androkles only is like this because it is all he knows, and it is all that society is. Androkles is not actually glad or upset about the state of the world, merely indifferent to what he has always known.

Despite Androkles reminders to anyone who doubts him, he is not actually a god in mortal flesh and as such, cannot be renamed Mary Sue.

Other characters in the story are written how they are described and are not cardboard cut-outs. 

There are no racy sex-scenes (currently) which is a good thing for a story like this, where it could be so easy to find an excuse to put them in, as it shows the author is more concerned with providing an interesting story for the audience rather than satisfying his own lustful itch.

And perhaps the best evidence I can give is that the author has made this into a proper book that you can buy. That means somewhere, some guy who was hired for his sole ability to judge a good story, said;

"this is good, let's publish this."

So. Give it a try. You won't regret it. If you do, you probably also read fanfic on wattpad.

KoboldPatrol
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A treasure of a heroic saga, by Zeus!

(as of Doubts 3.2)

The wife ran away with all the money that should have restored the family name, blaming the protagonist for their unhappy marriage and lack of children. While this is the framework for the story, it is by no means the main content. This story is about what happens during Androkles' pursuit of her, about who he meets on the way and how his sore personality changes over time.

Style: The story is told in third-person internal style from Androkles' point of view. How the tale is crafted, with rich word choice and how the story flows from one event to the next is excellently done.

Story: Full of strength like an ox, deep with manly emotions and relentlessly striving against 'Obstacles' (name of the first arc) that would make a lesser man weep, this is a tale about events the world hasn't seen since the Battle of Thermopylae. Well, it feels really monumental but perhaps it's just those old myths being kindled in my memory. The story at the least feels powerful, with excellent descriptions drawing you inside and the plot inexorably pushing forward with just the right amount of pacing to make you struggle for breath without overpowering you. This can really be called "proper literature".

Grammar: Excellent. Am I really on RRL?

Characters: The protagonist's character is shown in depth and his description and conduct is complex and exquisitely written. To a modern human Androkles feels a bit strange but that is a sign of how the author captured the personality of somebody from Ancient Greece (at least according to the old myths: "My oath is more important than my life" and barely restrained aggressiveness as the first option in most situation). Androkles cares deeply for his forefathers' undying souls and his family's endangered legacy, bemoaning his fate and cursing the gods he blames for his lot like the ancient heroes in the tragedies. His thoughts often go to his fallen comrades and at the beginning of the story he is a lone wolf, bitter and bereft of all he had. But later, due to his encounters, some dried-up emotions start to grow. The other characters are each described with their own realistic personality as well; the good guys are very likeable and the antagonists adequately nasty.

Other rating categories:
Suspense (higher is often better, but it depends of the type of the story): 4/5
Predictability (lower is usually better but too low is bordering on madness): 3/5
Fun (do I laugh out loud while reading or at least chuckle? A low score is not bad, just different): 2/5
Happiness (does this story create happy feelings? NOT a higher-is-better score): 2.5/5
Sexual content (NOT higher-is-better. I usually prefer less of it, but others might want more): 1/5

Many RRL authors publish their works; quite a number of those stories might sell okay but will not capture the masses. This story, with its excellent quality, doesn't have to hide behind anything. I'm glad I had the opportunity to find it here.

jpayne1138
  • Overall Score

Soldier, Dad, Slayer of Gods

I love Androkles. Fearless, relentless, strong and proud-- he's a true warrior. A man of the Glories. This all serves him well as long as his problems can be solved with violence. (And many of them can be!) But what I really love is seeing this mighty man wrestle with challenges where his 'very particular set of skills' aren't much help-- like playing daddy to a growing brood of castoffs and misfits. This book is a terrific, highly entertaining read. But it's also a true-to-life portrait of a flawed man trying to do the right thing. I can't wait to read book 2!

hsteinvall
  • Overall Score

Anyone not reading this is doing themselves a disservice. Calling it among the best of royal road is an insult, this doesn't even belong here. It is a great book and I'm a richer person after having read it.

forged
  • Overall Score

A very good story. A little early to tell where it is going, but so far, so good. 

thriceborn
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Lots of manly feels. Such machismo.

All caught up as of chapter 17, and this is damn good. From the beginning, Androkles' bearing and worldview we're engaging, and his character is just fantastically written. His interactions with his companions and those he has met so far is just amazing, and the world is already being expanded into something really interesting. Can't wait for more!

 

(Also, does anyone else see him as a Roman Conan the Barbarian or is it just me? For Crom-I mean, the Hewer!!)

Miles English
  • Overall Score

Love it! Awesome violence, but also fun and sweet.

 Alright so I have the same last name as the author. Coincidence? Not really. I read his first book a while ago, and absolutely loved it! This is honestly one of my favorite fantasy series evwr.

Now that we're into book two, I'm literally sitting on the refresh button every Tuesday and Friday. Can't get enough.

karl646
  • Overall Score

An excellent adventure novel

First off this is a professionally written story and you can tell, no grammatical errors the story flows well and the pacing is great.

The novel is written as a adventure story with a unique ancient greek setting mixed with greek mythos/fantasy elements.

The characters feel and act like real people each having their own motivations and believes. No novel can stand on setting alone and here the characters shine bright and bring out emotions from the reader.

All in all the novel is great and i encourage people to give it a chance. I know i will be keeping a keen eye on future releases. 

some_total_kretin
  • Overall Score

greek mythos in modern coat

Formally compelling, gramatically perfect, storywise and characterwise basically a shonen light novel combined with greek mythos with an effective use of tear jerking. I was bawling like a baby at some of the stories and smiling with pride as Androkles slowly became a dad. And the pacing is just right.

Author uses it as a preview of his work, and what a work it is. It is in my mind without a doubt one of the best novels published on this site.

nf_zeta
  • Overall Score

Simply a great story.

This is mostly just to give exposure to this novel so I'll be brief. This is a great story that starts simply but slowly expands.

All around quality writing, from characters to prose and world building. The fantasy aspects feel properly natural in the context of the story, the same applies to the characters. Even aspects that would be considered overdone in many other works of fiction feel natural here.