The Gray Mage
- Sexual Content
- Traumatising content
The Great Collapse shattered the world, altering its terrain and destroying governments. At the same time, it brought magic to the world in a wave of chaos. Only the Gray Mage, who appeared just as suddenly as magic and disappeared just as fast, saved humanity from the destruction magic's arrival brought.
A century and a half later, the world is run by the Orders, the Guilds, and the Families, an uneasy peace between the three as the end of the Third Age of Magic draws near. Ryan Novar, heir of the most powerful Family, was born blind. During his Appraising, however, he learned that he possessed great magical potential, which would be wasted due to his blindness.
Determined to not waste his magical potential and to overcome his blindness through magic, Ryan set a goal for himself: become the second Gray Mage. While working towards this goal, Ryan discovers secrets about the Great Collapse, the Gray Mage, and the paradox that was his own birth.
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I don't have much time, but I'll quickly go over some of my predictions and/or advice that I gave earlier, and compare them to the story as of Chp. 45'ish.
Is the story still decent? Maybe, for a horny adolescent who's going through puberty.
Does he still want to have sex with any girl that comes within 10 yards? YES, and now its within 3 yards. Three things happen when he meets a girl. He wants to have sex with them, he will have sex with them, or he'll hate/kill them (rarely the latter).
The story just wasn't toned down at all. Maybe some people like this stuff? If anything, the book would be better labeled as Erotica.
Was the magic/training ever given depth? No, it's still as bland as it was even though a majority of the story focuses on it.
Was the MC a.k.a Gary Stu ever given a flaw, or prevented from learning something instantly? Nah, this story is the epitome of self-insert, wish fulfillment fantasy. If you like that stuff, this is the story for you.
Lastly, was the story given any foreshadowing or more build-up? No. It was, is, and always will be Extremely Linear. You know whats going on, what is happening, and what will happen at all times. Not very thought provoking.
In all honesty, I really wish the author took advice from his reviews, but it seems he's bulldozing on ahead. But hey, sometimes that's not a bad thing.
This story just isn't for me.
OLD REVIEW: as of CHP. 23:
So, decent story so far, though there are a few things that you could tone back on.
Making him have sex with any girl that comes within 10 yards of him (and talks to him), is unneeded. It just makes the story feel more juvenile and diminishes it.
Also, please cut back on the useless dialogue with Tyler. Nothing against him, but it's extremely boring, drags the story, and is quite repetitive.
Lastly, the story just seems to be missing something.
More defined goal? More depth to magic/learning rather than him insta learning everything? More build-up or foreshadowing?
Truthfully, I can't quite put my finger on it, but it just seems to be missing that extra something.
I'll do a more in-depth review later when more chapters are released / I have more time.
It seems well written and the world is very well put together, but it's a little wish fulfillment-y for my tastes. From being the highest ranked in all types of magic to labeling himself a prodigy at learning how to use mana, the MCs succeeded at everything he's tried to do on the first try. He wasn't even actually blind for that long, as soon as he awakens his magic he easily develops 6 different ways to see.
Very cool setting though.
This a slice of life type story with little to no suspense or challenge for the mc. He's op from the start and still hasn't even touched his true potential. People who are looking for a wish fulfillment type story (like me) might find it enjoyable. But be warned cause there are some glaring flaws with this story.
First and foremost, there are no goals for me to look forward to. Yes, there are a couple of long term goals but they are so in the future and so vague that I can't consider them as a reason for me to be excited about the story and come back for more. Our mc just keeps training in his magical powers to achieve his ultimate goal and except that there is nothing for me to look forward to. There is some foreshadowing for war but it's nothing definitive and seems to be just like his other goals. Too vague and way ahead In the future. So if you wish to read something relaxing with no definitive plot, then go ahead and give this story a try.
Second, the characters. I don't know how to describe it but simply said, they did not feel real. As if they had something vital missing. They felt too unnatural, too unreal, too...robotic. it isn't your usual 1 or 2 dimensional basic characters, no. All of the characters had something different about them but one thing they had in common was how much they lack emotions. They aren't downright unemotional but instead, the author had done a bad job of describing them. Interactions between the characters always feels as if they are reading some perfect scripts that they had prepared before. I'm not saying every character should show exaggerating emotions but atleast something to show they are still living people.
Except that I don't have any other problem. There are some more problems like a few reviews said, especially how unreal Ryan's interactions with others feel but I choke it up to the authors taste for his characters. Cause his other story too had the same problem so I think it's intentional.
All in all, an enjoyable slice of life type story that you can read as a substitute to wait for your other reads.
I posted this as a comment but I'm also adding it to my review for an honest opinion of the story as a whole, not just the chapter I posted this under, now onto the review
I am sorry but it's too much. I hope the people who stay enjoy the story and while the premise is interesting the amount of sex and references to sex and forcing a guy to have uncontrollable sexual urges to ruin his life and then to dive into not one or two but several teens minds and the only thing every single one is thinking of is just sex who who to have sex with and who they want to have sex with. It's unrealistic, uncomfortable, very creepy sometimes and all around ruins an otherwise interesting story and turns it into a creep with power issues who takes things way too far every single time. I mean he sits there and thinks about sex and brings up fucking to every girl he meets even if he knows, actually especially if he knows, that it would make them uncomfortable but two guys who think he's attractive and fantasies about a threesome is too much and he gets weired out by it and stops looking into their mind just because of that? The main character needs a major overhaul in terms of every aspect of his character. There is no development, no challenges, nothing to overcome. It has been interesting until now but unless there is a rewrite I will not be continuing.
Some basic spoilers will follow:
First and foremost, this isn't a finely detailed 'mastering magic' story. The protagonist begins with an exceptionally high level of magic talent, the most notable being the ability to pull himself back in time. He then uses this to train his ability to use magic while resetting once he feels that he has acquired what he needs. In this sense, the story tends to show his initial experimentation before stepping back and allowing several months of resets to occur and moving to the next step forward. The worldbuilding expands with each of these steps and presents an interesting universe to explore.
Second, several reviews have complained that the MC sleeps with every woman he meets, which boils down to just two that are being directed to form political marriages with his family. While it might be unusual for a relatively isolated blind teenager to be that comfortable with it, it's not the brazen wish-fulfillment that a lot of stories throw at you. Despite the MC starting off with significant power, thus far the author has avoided the smirking protag "you can't imagine my power" as he smites obnoxious baddies trope, which is nice. That could change later on, but for the time being, he manages to just explore and learn without making a spectacle of himself.
The last point I'll discuss is the dialogue, which does have more than a few awkward moments centered around his friend and servant, Tyler. On the one hand, he is admirably open and comfortable with certain topics, but on the other, I half expected the MC to be bi-sexual (or his servant gay) with how frequently he discussed his servant's erections. Not to mention, most would be somewhat uncomfortable knowing that someone they have no sexual interest in is aroused by toweling off their naked body, not chuckle and assume that they're imagining a naked woman in his place. That said, the awkward bits of dialogue are short snippets that occur in between story moments and hardly detract from the story as a whole.
Overall, I'd recommend the story for an interesting entry into a fantasy world without the issues you tend to see from starting with an overpowered protagonist. The fact that he is blind adds an interesting aspect to the story, without bending the plot around it. If you can stand a few chunks of awkward dialogue, it's well worth the read.
What can I say about the Gray Mage? I don't even know for sure where to start. The scope and breadth of what people enjoy and prefer to consume in their endless search for ever yet more entertainment is vast and immeasurable. The first thing I will say though is this:
My review is my opinion about a story. It's every bit as valid as the eflluvient praise heaped upon this work and other stories by people who are given to exuberant praise.
I believe in honest reviews, so lets get the good out of the way.
Grammar is perfect. Seriously. I have a pair of proofreading editors, with several others who give advice and keep an eye in my documents while i'm writing, and I couldn't do better. A lot of stories on here have certain grammatical patterns that make it obvious the writer doesn't natively english, or they have other 'ticks' in phrasing and syllable structure where you get knocked out of immersion. Things where a phrase will be out of order and you notice because that's not the way people talk or write where you're from. You don't get any of that here. The words and sentence structure are perfect. Trust me on that. I don't praise grammer often, but in this case it is well earned.
Another part of this story that is amazing is the magic system. The author gives just enough detail through the way the main character learns that you get a vague outline of what's going on. Some people prefer for everything to be laid on the table in clinical notes and dry mathematical structure, but this isn't a VRMMO or LitRPG story. You've got your basics in the elemental magics, and your various "-mancy" flavors like chronomancer and mind mage and healers, enchanters, evokers. You get to see these different "flavors" of magic use represented often enough that you can see the underlying backbone of magic in the world, while leaving enough mystery to keep you wondering what's next. Some stories give too much info on the magic, some don't give enough, and this one has found that happy medium of just the right amount.
The rest of the story, most readers will either love it or hate it. It's a slice of life story, and the main character is a young man with all the typical urges young men have. Due to the nature of his powers, there's no real rush or urgency to the tale at all, and he quickly falls into every hedonistically banal degeneracy you would expect from the mind of a teen boy.
The main character is basically an asshole through and through, and what's worse is he's an effective one. Enjoying what basically amounts to the powers of an immortal god, he can simply reset time to a previous point and try again until he gets the girl. As the story progresses and his power grows, so to does his propensity for straight up evil shit. Regardless of how well the grammar flows or how good the magic system is, the entire story is brought down by the main character.
It's one huge steaming pile of canine excrement. It's a puerile domination and power fantasy, even if such things only happen off the screen. What do you call it when the women have no choice in the matter? To be clear, the main character never forces himself upon others on the page(murder, intimidation, and mind-magic manipulation aside).
He's a villain, and evil, but he's a shallow one. His god-like powers ensure he is unchallenged in the storyverse. A literal "omnimancer" who can learn every type of magic, and to the ultimate degree of mastery. Barring some plot gimmick later on, or a literal army of gods from other worlds, there are no checks upon his behavior and thus no need or method within the story for his own character progression. You can distill the entire story down to two words.
That's it. Done. There's no challenger to force the MC to grow or change. He has a sociopathic disregard for any other life form other than himself, with a side serving of megalomaniacal narcissism garnished with a dash of mommy issues. He's the creepiest flavor of villain as well, using a blend of mind control magic called a "geas" along with his chronomancy and immortal invulnerability not only to put his proverbial boot on people's necks, but also to force them into the absolute submission of knowing what he's doing to them while being helpless to change a damn thing. For Ryan it is not enough to merely dominate those beneath him, he forces them to *enjoy* the ruthless humiliation of submission.
Every chapter builds upon this sadism, each one leaving that greasy feeling of ick that shivers between your guts and spine. He's the metaphorical schoolyard bully, if that bully had godlike powers and made the teachers eat dirt just like the rest of the other kids on the playground.
Perhaps the worst thing about this story isn't even the main character. The greatest travesty, the one that hurts the most is that there is obviously a good writer in there somewhere. The desperate dystopia of a world ran by a magical mafia is brilliant at inception, with infinite possibilities of tragedy and triumph to spawn an utterly engaging narrative...
and instead we get disgusting eel soup.
I like the series, however, it took me a while to start reading because of a couple ideas I made up from the synopsis.
Firstly, the mc is not helpless, going from one situation to the next.
Secondly, the mc is not downtrodden and looked down upon due to being blind (it is hinted at, but not seen directly as of ch20), and doesnt have the stupid trope that he must rise from the bottom and show that he is better than everyone.
Thirdly, there isn't blind adoration from everyone, apart from the sneering villains (who would then be put down), those who you would assume to be evil are sensible and the reasons for their actions, whilst not relatable, are understandable.
Some of the worst dialogue I have ever read (and i've read A LOT). Absolutely cringy. Completely ruins any potential it would have.
Only got a few chapters in before getting annoyed and dropping it. Seems like it is written by a highschooler for highschoolers to read. The characters are boring and/or annoying. The dialogue is cringey. There is often a lot of space between words which makes reading it aggravating. A lot of info is just lazily dumped. Overall, I wish I were blind while attempting to read this.
This is another great example of quality story telling that Matt provides to his readers.